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Bruce Enberg's Commentary

Punched or drilled? Use an inspection mirror & a spec sheet for comparison

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Numbers on 3rd quarter GDP growth are in, and we could be breaking into a chorus of    'Happy Days are Here Again.'  A quarterly growth of 4.1% in GDP is something that we have seen hardly at all since Ronald Reagan set about destroying the economy for the benefit of the 0.001% of Americans.

 

In the old days of New Deal Keynesian economics a 4% growth rate was the norm. Conservatives would like you to believe that such a number just isn't possible anymore unless you cut the tax rate on the rich to zero. Never mind that the Communist Chinese have been maintaining a pace of 2 to 3 times that for decades by pursuing FDR's or more accurately Alexander Hamilton's polices. You know, the guy on the ten dollar bill.

 

The Chinese are big fans of our Founding Fathers, and it's paid off for them big time. The US went from making wooden shovels to being the undisputed industrial power of the world by following Hamilton's policies enacted by Congress in 1792. China has gone from making nothing more advanced than a 1940 style steam locomotive to putting a rover on the moon in just 30 years. This will be China's century in ways that we can't even imagine.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 20 December 2013 22:37 Read more...

Using Strategic air power to protect precious bodily fluids

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New unemployment claims dropped by another 10,000 last week to 316,000, approaching pre Bush Crash numbers. California accounted for almost half of the decline suggesting that Conservative claims that the 7th largest economy in the world is in rapid decline since the Democrats took complete control of the state's government might be 'overstated'.

 

Wall Street banks are throwing a fit because the Federal Reserve is considering the elimination of the 0.25% interest that they have been paying banks on cash reserves that banks keep on deposit with the Fed. It doesn't sound like much except that these reserves total $2.4t. They only started doing this as part of the bank bailout and Wall Street has become accustomed to this $60b subsidy, it's almost half of their annual bonus pay. Banks didn't used to keep much cash on deposit but were encouraged to start doing this in case of further losses from the Bush crash. The Fed thinks that with the economy actually working again that maybe banks should start making loans with this money instead.

 

The possibility of peace with Iran has been putting further downward pressure on oil prices despite the Obama Administration's assurances that Iran wouldn't be allowed to pump more oil and natural gas any time soon.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 21:52 Read more...

Fries with that? Or, do we hang together?

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There has long been a debate about how slaves were treated in colonial America.  Records kept by slave holders suggested that they were grossly underfed. Archaeological digs however suggest that the 'masters' provisions were only a supplement to what slaves could grow for themselves, or harvest from the wild. But those were different times, land was plentiful, extensive gardens presented no problem, game and wilderness plantlife were plentiful.

 

Today we live in a much more dystopian landscape. While today's slave might be called a 'sales associate' or 'your server', he or she must still try to find enough to eat. This sage advice comes from the McDonald's 'employee only access' website: "...to keep from feeling hungry, break up your available food into small portions and spread them out." Ronald McDonald doesn't even bother to have a canned food drive for his employees like the pne that  starving workers at Walmart get.

 

Mickey D's does have a number of tips for how its employees can get government assistance,with no mention of the fact that a business that profits billions should at least be able to feed its slaves. In fact, McDonald's could double its wages and only add 17 cents to a Dollar Menu item. At this pay scale McDonald's employees could afford to eat and have disposable income to stimulate the rest of the economy.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 21:12 Read more...

Best to Wear a Hat

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New unemployment claims fell again last week and are starting approach the levels we saw just before the Tea Party Sedition movement knocked a sizable hole in the economy. There were 28,000 Federal civilian employees drawing unemployment benefits last week which was 50,000 fewer than the week before. This adds to the $24b tab for the pointless government shutdown.

 

Federal employees will get back pay for their time off, plus the hourly employees will be getting overtime pay to catch up their work. Government contractors will doubtless be demanding compensation for the snafu conditions that occurred during our brief return to the Articles of Confederation when the Federal Government was basically voluntary.

 

The GDP grew at a 2.8% rate during the 3rd quarter, which is quite respectable for the Neo-Reagan Era. In the old days of the New Deal that level of growth would have been considered slow. However 0.8 points were attributed to inventory build up in anticipation of growth in the 4th quarter, and could cause a major pull back if that growth isn't realized.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 08 November 2013 18:00 Read more...

Hobbling the Four Horses of the Apocalypse

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New unemployment claims jumped by 66,000 last week to 374,000 after months settling down toward 300,000. This doesn't begin to show the real effects of the government shutdown as contractors are only now beginning to kick people to the curb. The effect this will have on the rest of economy will begin to show soon as the lack of spending by those affected by the shutdown starts to mushroom into a reduction in US GDP. This is one of those self reinforcing feedback loops that are commonly referred to as a 'death spiral'.

 

You see, the problem isn't confined to the simple math of less spending, but is actually multiplied by the fact that the natural mitigators of an economic downturn that we commonly refer to as 'government safety nets' are also being removed. State run programs are running out of 'pass through' money, and the charities will be affected soon. Right wingers are always saying churches could care for the poor better and somehow do it at no cost, but the christian charities get 2/3 of their money from the Feds. With Uncle Sam out the picture, their private donations will dry up too.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 11:11 Read more...

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