Category Archives: Economy

Economic Issues, Taxes, Capitalism

Brexit Is Not Quite Destroying Britain

The predicted job losses from the passage of Brexit were all government jobs. The bureaucracy has necessarily shrunk. The private sector is expanding.

“400,000 new jobs: the Brexit bonanza goes on against the tide of ‘Project Fear'”

brexit bonanza

One of Britain’s largest recruitment firms said the employment market has boomed since the EU referendum with an extra 30,000 new jobs on its books since the Brexit vote.

In the eight weeks following June 23, there were 400,000 new jobs posted on Reed’s website – 30,000 higher than the same period in 2015 and an increase of 8 per cent.”

Read the rest at This Is Money

1 Comment

Actions Continue To Have Consequences

It’s hard to say if there is an organized boycott of Target stores or if women are just staying away because they don’t feel safe using their public restrooms.

Target announced back in April of this year that they would allow men in women’s restrooms. There was a negative backlash but Target didn’t back down. People started shopping elsewhere. They still haven’t changed their policy. Instead the geniuses on the Target board have decided to spend $20 million to convert their bathrooms to single-stall, single occupant.

“The Target boycott is costing more than anyone expected”

target-shopping-2

The company revealed its traffic declines last week when it reported second-quarter earnings.

Target’s same-store transactions, which is how traffic is measured, fell 2.2% in the second quarter. Overall, sales fell 7.2% to $16.2 billion.

“In the second quarter, our No. 1 challenge was traffic, which affected sales in all of our merchandise categories,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said last week on a call with analysts.”

More at Business Insider

11 Comments

Looks Like The Fed Has Decided Against A Rate Hike

“Fed Admits Another $4 Trillion In QE Will Be Needed To Offset An “Economic Shock””

Janet Yellin

Janet Yellin

In a Fed Staff working paper released over the weekend titled “Gauging the Ability of the FOMC to Respond to Future Recessions” and penned by deputy director of the division of research and statistics at the Fed, the author concludes that “simulations of the FRB/US model of a severe recession suggest that large-scale asset purchases and forward guidance about the future path of the federal funds rate should be able to provide enough additional accommodation to fully compensate for a more limited [ability] to cut short-term interest rates in most, but probably not all, circumstances.”

More at Zero Hedge

3 Comments

Artificial Libertarian Is Actually A Progressive

“Gary Johnson Backs CO2 ‘Fee’ To Fight Global Warming”

gary-johnson-

DailyCaller: Libertarian Party presidential nominee and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said he’s no skeptic of man-made global warming and endorsed a “fee” on carbon dioxide emissions.

It’s all part of his “free market” approach to global warming, Johnson told the Juneau Empire in an article published Sunday.

“I do believe that climate change is occurring,” Johnson said. “I do believe that it is man-caused” and “that there can be and is a free-market approach to climate change.”

Johnson’s “free market” approach to global warming includes “a fee — not a tax, he said — placed on carbon” to make those who emit the greenhouse gas pay the supposed cost of their actions, according to the Juneau Empire.”

More at iOTW

23 Comments

“What Will You Do When The Lights Go Out?”

“The Inevitable Failure Of The US Grid”

When you look at the layout of the grid above, it’s easy to see that a single grid going offline would disrupt a huge segment of North America.

When you look at the layout of the grid above, it’s easy to see that a single grid going offline would disrupt a huge segment of North America.

“And if you’re wondering why Texas gets a grid of its own, according to the Texas Tribune they have their own grid “to avoid dealing with the feds.” Now that’s true survivalist savvy—in theory.”

What we are certain of, is that severe weather will continue to stress and threaten our power grid. And unless something changes, ultimately, it will fail. So when we talk about reliability, we’re talking about “when” and “for how long” scenarios, not “what if”.

The how-long factor plays a huge role into how bad is “bad”; not because of the events that one knows will follow, which includes mass food spoilage, deaths due to overheating in the hot summer months, deaths due to freezing in the cold regions, and the halting of everything we take for granted these days—airlines, internet and most other forms of communication.

All that sounds pretty bleak, but when you throw into the mix the mania and hysteria that would ensue shortly after such catastrophic events, it will be so much worse.”

Read the rest at Zero Hedge

1 Comment

Kate Gets Results

This simple chart was compiled by reader Robert and published on Kate’s blog, Small Dead Animals. You can follow the links and try for yourself but you will find the same results Robert found. It is very interesting just how easy it was for him to construct the list but even more interesting is why it wasn’t done before by someone else.

I discovered it and found it to be powerful and decided it needed to be shared. What do you think?

“American States: Economic Competitiveness vs. Political Leanings”

Yesterday a Democrat friend posted on Facebook about “how obvious” it was that liberal (ie. Democrat) run states were much more prosperous than conservative ones. I was curious about this statement so decided to check the facts. Using this link and this one, I compiled a table of the 10 most and 10 least economically competitive states:”

US_Prosperity_Ranking

Leave a comment

One Less Health Insurer – Aetna Backs Out

None of the companies providing health care insurance can afford to do it any longer. The rules in the Affordable Care Act, combined with the other actions of the US federal government prevent it. They all want double digit premium increases but cannot get them. As a result they are dropping out of covering health care. It’s all part of the plan to convert the country to Government funded single-payer health care. If health care insurance is not available there is just that one other option.

“Aetna latest insurer to question Obamacare’s future”

Aetna-Logo-300x94

Aetna (AET) said Tuesday it is canceling plans to expand into five more states next year and will reassess its involvement in the 15 states where it currently offers coverage on the individual exchanges. Aetna — which expects to lose $300 million (pre-tax) on its Obamacare business this year — must conclude its review by the end of September and notify states where it intends to withdraw.

“…in light of updated 2016 projections for our individual products and the significant structural challenges facing the public exchanges, we intend to withdraw all of our 2017 public exchange expansion plans, and are undertaking a complete evaluation of future participation in our current 15-state footprint,” said CEO Mark Bertolini in a second-quarter earnings statement.”

More at CNN Money

6 Comments

$400 Million To Iran? Meh.

This has been going on for some time.

“EIGHT BILLION TO ASSIST THE TERRORISTS?”

LEAD Obama

According to Egypt’s TV14 network, Obama had secretly transferred eight billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood, not the Egyptian Government, as payment to guarantee that a large portion of the Sinai Peninsula would be turned over to the terrorist organisation Hamas, an enemy of both the United States and Israel.”

The rest of the story is here

3 Comments

Denninger: “America Died At 11:00 ET 7/5/2016”

From Karl Denninger at Market Ticker

Here is the section of US law that Comey admitted and stated that the FBI found Hillary violated:

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

and

(g) If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.”

Which in turn implicates Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and every one of the people who worked on said server or in Hillary’s entourage and knew what Hillary was doing.

[…]

America, as envisioned and fought for by the founders, died today at 11:00 AM ET, 7/5/2016.

240 years and one day from birth to death.”

40 Comments

I Guess I’d Shut Down And Lock The Doors

Just another way to drive job-creating businesses out.

Los Angeles seems to be competing with San Francisco for moonbattiness.

“LA City Hall panel backs fining companies for asking applicants about past crimes”

app for employment

Businesses that ask a job applicant about his or her criminal history during the hiring process could be fined and forced to pay the applicant up to $500 under a new law being considered by city leaders.

A Los Angeles City Council committee backed a plan Tuesday to penalize businesses that weed out applicants based on criminal convictions.

The rules are part of a law under consideration by the council aimed at giving former convicts a better shot at obtaining employment.

The Ban the Box ordinance, approved in concept last year by the council, bans private employers with 10 or more workers from asking questions related to an applicant’s criminal history before a conditional offer of employment has been made.”

More at the LA Daily News

1 Comment

Politico: “Uprising in the Rust Belt”

Democrats have turned their backs on union workers. Barack Obama swore to destroy the coal industry and Hillary Clinton has said the same thing. That means coal workers lose their jobs. These workers can see that their jobs are at risk, too, from Democrat regulations. Democrats have become tools of the socialists, the communists, and the greens. That has put them at odds with American workers.

“They used to be Democrats. Now they really could hand Donald Trump the White House.”

iron workers

In the past, people here have turned to the Democrats,” said Chris Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion in Allentown, Pa., 200 miles to the east. “They were the ones who looked after working-class interests, in their minds. But there is a belief that that isn’t the case anymore—and now they’re shopping around for an alternative.”

Read more at Politico

6 Comments

“Mitch McConnell Complains About ‘Unreasonable’ Conservatives, Points Blame at Talk Radio”

I was listening to Glenn Beck yesterday for a while. The radio in my garage is set on the talk radio station and he’s on in the afternoon here. He said something interesting. He asked what Conservatives are interested in ‘Conserving’? His answer: “The Constitution”. I thought that was a pretty good answer.

That puts a powerful light on McConnell complaining about Conservatives.

mitch mcconnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell takes pride in his reputation as a great compromiser. But the Republican leader won’t concede on one point: He refuses to let conservatives fight the White House for lower spending levels.

McConnell, R-Ky., outlined his political roadmap for government spending on Tuesday, sketching out the routes he sees available: an omnibus package, individual appropriations bills, or a government shutdown.

“Here’s the choice: You either pass each individual appropriations bill or you pass the omnibus, which gives the president all the power, and the ability, to argue that somehow we’re shutting down the government if we don’t go along with it,” McConnell told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute.”

Read the rest at the Daily Signal

Leave a comment

Creative Mathematics

My calculator says 94 Million is 42.7% of 220 Million. No one in the media has tried doing the math.

new maffs

H/T to Irish

6 Comments

Sowell: “Socialism For The Uninformed”

Dr. Sowell is absolutely right in his assessment. The trouble is, as he says, proponents of socialism will not check the facts. They will not test the premises of their belief. They will not read his essay. They just want things to be ‘Free’.

From the comments section of this article comes this observation:

Reminds me of my visit to Czechoslovakia in the summer of 1968 (yes, 1968) to visit my Great Aunt, a leader of the Communist Party. She said to me, this is not what we intended at all.”

How absolutely telling.

“Why the destructive philosophy continues to attract followers.”

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell

Socialism sounds great. It has always sounded great. And it will probably always continue to sound great. It is only when you go beyond rhetoric, and start looking at hard facts, that socialism turns out to be a big disappointment, if not a disaster.

While throngs of young people are cheering loudly for avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, socialism has turned oil-rich Venezuela into a place where there are shortages of everything from toilet paper to beer, where electricity keeps shutting down, and where there are long lines of people hoping to get food, people complaining that they cannot feed their families.

[…]

But people who attribute income inequality to capitalists exploiting workers, as Karl Marx claimed, never seem to get around to testing that belief against facts — such as the fact that none of the Marxist regimes around the world has ever had as high a standard of living for working people as there is in many capitalist countries.

Facts are seldom allowed to contaminate the beautiful vision of the left. What matters to the true believers are the ringing slogans, endlessly repeated.

When Senator Sanders cries, “The system is rigged!” no one asks, “Just what specifically does that mean?” or “What facts do you have to back that up?”

[…]

None of this is rocket science. But you do have to stop and think — and that is what too many of our schools and colleges are failing to teach their students to do.”

Read the rest at Front Page Mag

Update: What do you call this? Irony?

“Venezuela’s Maduro backs Sanders”
From CNN

4 Comments

Why Hold Cash? Grant Williams Knows.

2 Comments

“Trump Preparing Plan to Dismantle Obama’s Wall Street Reform Law”

This actually sounds like a pretty good place to start. Dismantle Dodd-Frank.

“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Tuesday that sweeping financial reforms put in place under President Barack Obama were harming the economy and he would dismantle nearly all of them.”

Trump-Opulence-featured

Trump told Reuters in an interview that he would release a plan in about two weeks for overhauling the 2010 financial regulatory law known as Dodd-Frank.

“Dodd-Frank has made it impossible for bankers to function,” the presumptive Republican nominee said. “It makes it very hard for bankers to loan money for people to create jobs, for people with businesses to create jobs. And that has to stop.”

Read the rest at Newsmax

13 Comments

Once Again: “U.N. Official Reveals Real Reason Behind Warming Scare”

We have reported before on the U.N. Climate chief Christina Figueres. Her goal at the United Nations is to destroy capitalism and replace it with communism.

Our reports are here,

Here,

And here,

Also here.

Christina Figueres

Christina Figueres

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

Read the rest at Investors Business Daily

6 Comments

Alternative Energy Sources ‘Necessarily Cause Electric Rates To Skyrocket’

“Denmark Slashes Wind Power Subsidies to Curb Runaway Power Costs”

europe-power-prices-21

How long will it be before people start to react in countries where heavy industries are closing at an alarming rate and power supplies are under increasing threat?”

Places like, say, the United States of America.

More here

Leave a comment

Will Saudi Arabia Follow The Lead Of The Child Prince?

The Saudi royal family can no longer keep the price of oil up where they want it. Actual market forces have taken control away from them. They don’t want to give up their opulent life styles and the certainly don’t want to become irrelevant. What to do?

One plan is to have a thirty year-old Crown Prince come up with hare-brained ideas for ways to spend a couple trillion bucks. The plan is to make Saudi Arabia the center of Islam.

Yippee.

The oil people think it’s a wild gamble that’s destined to fail. If it fails, what next? This is the kind of thing that starts wars.

“The $2 Trillion Gamble That Saudi Arabia Cannot Win”

Prince Muhammad Bin Salman

Prince Muhammad Bin Salman

Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, 30, the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia laid out his vision for Saudi Arabia on Monday in a plan called “Vision 2030.” He wants to get Saudi Arabia off its oil dependence in only 4 years, by 2020, and wants to diversify the economy into manufacturing and mining.

In an interview with Al Arabiya, the prince said the future of the kingdom would be based on:

1. Its possession of the Muslim shrine cities of Mecca and Medina and the “Arab and Muslim depth” that position gave the kingdom

2. The kingdom’s geographical centrality to world commerce, with 30 percent of global trade passing through the 3 major sea routes that Saudi Arabia bestrides (not sure what the third is, after the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf).

3. The creation of a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund through a sale of 5 percent of shares in Aramco, the world’s largest oil company.

Prince Muhammad said Monday that he thought these assets would allow the kingdom to cease its dependence on petroleum in the very near future.”

More at Oil Price.com

Leave a comment

Where Did All The Money Go?

This is a big deal. One by one the alternative energy companies that were touted by Democrats are going belly-up. This one fell in less than a year. That does not happen without help from someone. Like Solyndra earlier, Sun Energy was riding high until all the money disappeared. Where did it go?

00-sunedison-logo-white

“Clean energy poster child SunEdison files for bankruptcy”

sunedison-solar-renewable-energy-780x439

As recently as last July, SunEdison was still flying high, with its shares trading above $33. They began to collapse soon after and are today worth just 34 cents. Trading was halted Thursday minutes before the bankruptcy filing. (Today their website lists the shares at twenty-two cents a share.)

[…]

There is also controversy surrounding SunEdison management. The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether SunEdison management misled the public over the company’s dire financial straits, the Wall Street Journal reported.”

More at CNN Money

2 Comments

Teamsters Getting Retirement Benefits Cut

This will not end well. Teamster members are sometimes violent in their protests.

From the article and what we already know it sounds like there are a couple of things at play that are causing this.

According to the article the retirement fund last year received a negative interest on its investments. Part of that can be laid at the feet of the Federal Reserve for keeping interest rates at or very near zero for a long time. All American savers have felt the pinch of low rates. But not everyone has seen a negative growth. That indicates the trustees for this fund have done a poor job with investments.

Further down we find that they are paying out $3.46 in benefits for every dollar coming in. That indicates that there are fewer people in the union than are being paid benefits. Lately union membership has been declining. It may be that it is stuff like this that has caused what has turned into a Ponzi scheme to fail.

“This Is Going To Be A National Crisis” – One Of The Largest U.S. Pension Funds Set To Cut Retiree Benefits”

pension cuts_0

Central States Pension Fund, which handles retirement benefits for current and former Teamster union truck drivers across various states including Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, New York, and Minnesota, and is one of the largest pension funds in the nation, has filed an application to cut participant benefits, which would be effective July 1 2016, as it “projects” it will become officially insolvent by 2025.

[…]

The Central States Pension Fund is currently paying out $3.46 in pension benefits for every $1 it receives from employers, which has resulted in the fund paying out $2 billion more in benefits than it receives in employer contributions each year.”

More at Zero Hedge

1 Comment

I Am Almost Immune From Being Dissapointed By Politicians

Almost but not quite.

Senator Ted Cruz, in his rush to simplify the US tax codes, has proposed a VAT, a Value Added Tax, to make up for the shortfall his flat tax proposal will cause.

From Forbes:

“Ted Cruz’s Naive VAT Plan Would Lead Federal Tax Rates To Soar”

cruz at exeter

For many years conservatives and libertarians have strongly opposed the institution of a VAT. Why? Because we have looked at other countries that have them. They have always been sold as a way to reduce or eliminate the income tax. They never do, though. Once instituted the VAT becomes anchored. No politician will reduce or eliminate it and the other forms of taxes continue. Canada has a VAT. It’s called the GST. They still have income taxes and provincial sales taxes. Mexico also has a VAT as well as income tax. Many European countries are similar.

Forbes has taken a strong position:

Ted Cruz says he wants to “abolish the IRS.” But it doesn’t matter what you call the agency that collects your taxes in Washington, if the amount you end up paying is far higher than what you pay today.

I think Cruz is sincere in wanting to improve the American tax code. But his plan is dangerously naïve, and reflects the work of someone who has thought too much about short-term political tactics, and not nearly enough about the long-term ramifications of fiscal policy.”

Daniel J. Mitchell also has an opposition to VAT over at International Liberty:

The value-added tax is a very dangerous levy for the simple reason that giving a big new source of revenue to Washington almost certainly would result in a larger burden of government spending.

That’s certainly what happened in Europe, and there’s even more reason to think it would happen in America because we have a looming, baked-in-the-cake entitlement crisis and many politicians don’t want to reform programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare. They would much rather find additional tax revenues to enable this expansion of the welfare state. And their target is the middle class, which is why they very much want a VAT.”

I fear the institution of a VAT. Every time it has been proposed it has accompanied a push to lower other taxes but the Vat was passed and the reduction was not. I don’t trust either Democrats or Republicans to do any different. That is why Forbes calls Cruz’ plan ‘Naive’.

8 Comments

“The Federal Takeover of State Debt is About to Begin”

Cloward, meet Piven.

The White House is trying to start with Puerto Rico. If they can pull that off Illinois will be soon after. Just imagine the control Washington DC will have over the states. There are states with no debt. Could this be the trigger for a Balkanization movement?

Toddlin' Town - Whatever that means

Toddlin’ Town – Whatever that means

One very subtle item that is about to occur is the nationalization of state debt (and likely debts of individual cities) by the federal government. At the highest level, states and cities have made promises (mainly pensions) to their employees that are un-payable without raising taxes to extortionate rates. Detroit cracked first but since it was a city and there was some state framework they were able to use bankruptcy, but many more are to follow, including Puerto Rico (right now) and soon thereafter likely the City of Chicago or its teachers’ pensions as well as the state of Illinois.

A very similar event occurred in Europe when the ECB basically put the debts of Greece and Portugal onto the backs of taxpayers in Germany and Holland. The ECB had a moment (several moments, actually) when they could have fundamentally changed how Greece ran their economy, shutting down statist laws and heavy governmental interference in the economy to open up competition and growth, but they blinked and instead just “wired them money in exchange for promises”.

More here

5 Comments

How To Cut Government Spending

Balls of steel. Oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Heh.

“Comptroller says Illinois lawmakers will have to get in a long line to get paid”

leslie geissler munger

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger plans to delay monthly paychecks for lawmakers and statewide officials, saying there isn’t enough money to pay the state’s bills and that other services should come first.

The comptroller’s office will still process the paychecks, estimated at $1.3 million a month, but lawmakers won’t get the money right away because the payments will be thrown onto the state’s huge pile of unpaid bills.”

Read the rest at the Chicago Tribune

2 Comments

“The Fed Sends a Frightening Letter to JPMorgan and Corporate Media Yawns”

Well, the letter is 19 pages long, and you do have to read it.

Jamie Dimon, Testifying Before the Senate Banking Committee on June 13, 2012 Over Massive Derivative Losses at the Depository Bank of JPMorgan Chase

Jamie Dimon, Testifying Before the Senate Banking Committee on June 13, 2012 Over Massive Derivative Losses at the Depository Bank of JPMorgan Chase

At the top of page 11, the Federal regulators reveal that they have “identified a deficiency” in JPMorgan’s wind-down plan which if not properly addressed could “pose serious adverse effects to the financial stability of the United States.”

Here is the letter.

Here is the referenced article from Wall Street On Parade.

1 Comment