I've been sent about a dozen emails in the last couple of days telling me that I should call for a boycott of the NFL because it refused to run an ad from Daniel Defense, a firearms manufacturer.
I think you should watch the ad at the linked article -- it's good, and there are no guns displayed. Anywhere. It simply makes the point that we, the people, have primary responsibility for the defense of our families, and that responsibility is certainly something that we should (and many do) take very seriously.
I also don't doubt for a second that the NFL refused the ad. After all, they're the most-rank of hypocrites, celebrating men bashing each other's brains out on the gridiron (a grand American tradition) while at the same time demanding that women carry transparent purses and otherwise insulting their fans. I haven't set foot at an NFL game for decades for exactly this sort of reason -- not only are the tickets grossly overpriced and the stadiums gross rapes of the taxpayer but I refuse to be insulted by people who then ask me to spend my hard-earned money with them.
That people put up with that crap says everything I need to know about idiocracy among Americans -- there should not be one person in any NFL stadium -- ever.
That our nation is stupid enough to pay really good money (and lots of it) only to be abused by the people taking the funds is an outrage. We do the same thing in airports, by the way, and it's equally stupid there. I fly when I must, but I sure don't do it if I have other rational alternatives -- and I usually do. Indeed, I've put something close to 6,000 miles on my car in the last 45 days precisely because I took three 14-hour each-way trips (and they were round trips) in my vehicle because I refuse to spend my hard-earned money with people that flip me off if I have a rational alternative.
But heh, if you're a ****ing idiot it's not my place to stop you from being stupid beyond words. You're entitled to be stupid, and to reap the rewards.
But it is for this reason that I bring up this alleged commercial.
You see, Daniel Defense is a little company. How little? Not much larger than MCSNet was in its hayday -- best estimates are that it has about $12 million in annual revenue.
So with a 30-second Superbowl commercial costing about $4 million, exactly how was this company going to pay for it?
That's easy -- they weren't because they couldn't. They most-certainly weren't going to put ~30% of their annual revenues into one 30 second commercial.
No way, no how.
But by "submitting" the ad (if they did) and getting it "denied" (if they did) they got for free what they couldn't afford to pay for -- an association with the NFL and professional football.
Well-played Mr. Daniel. If I need firearms or parts that you produce in the future, I will definitely consider your firm's products. I've heard they're very high-quality, you make 'em in the good old USA (in Georgia) and from what I can see your prices are reasonable as well.
But as for boycotting the NFL? For what? Being dumb enough to fall for Mr. Daniel's foil and give him millions worth of advertising for free? That's good for a chuckle, not a boycott.
What I will do is look askance at all the people who took this "story" at face value and called for said boycott -- because they have shown that they lack the basic level of discernment necessary to intelligently process common daily events.
Personal income decreased $10.8 billion, or 0.1 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $23.6 billion, or 0.2 percent, in October, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $32.7 billion, or 0.3 percent. In September, personal income increased $64.3 billion, or 0.5 percent, DPI increased $62.1 billion, or 0.5 percent, and PCE increased $23.8 billion, or 0.2 percent, based on revised estimates.
Real disposable personal income decreased 0.2 percent in October, in contrast to an increase of 0.4 percent in September. Real PCE increased 0.3 percent, compared with an increase of 0.1 percent.
This is a large disconnect; a spread of 0.5% between income and spending, with income negative.
In other words people increased spending into decreasing incomes. While the BEA claims they adjusted out the shutdown in the government sector they didn't (and can't) on the private side.
This is a bad report but again, I don't know if I can look at it as a "real" result..... so I'll wait for next month.
The unemployment rate declined from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 203,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing.
This is an interesting report; the raw figure is close to estimates but the drop of 0.3% in the unemployment rate is sizable and generally larger than the seasonal change would anticipate.
Let's have a look at the unadjusted survey numbers (if you believe them, which is an entirely different discussion.)
There's a notable uptick in this month's data on an annualized basis. That's unmistakably good.
Unfortunately when it comes to the employment:population ratio the news is less enlightening. While there is a tiny little uptick in that ratio (0.2%) it remains mired in the dirt, and as you know from reading me this is the ratio that matters in the intermediate and longer term because only working people pay taxes. There is no joy to be found here.
The "why" is found here -- when one corrects for population growth on an annualized basis we're still not really in recovery. But that's the problem that nobody will address -- dependence and the 20+ year pattern of increase in that regard. The markets like to ignore this reality and you will never see this chart presented in the mainstream media but it is the only honest presentation of the data you can make since the workforce is, of course, the divisor.
Finally, let's look at what the employment-population ratio says in comparison to the "reported" unemployment rate:
Yeah, ok -- one's a claim, the other (the red line) is a count.
Which one's right?
The “it” is secular stagnation, which seems to be the New New Thing or the new new normal: a way to describe the persistent state of subpar economic growth plaguing developed nations. Think of it as Japan’s lost decade gone global.
The diagnosis? Too much saving and a lack of investment opportunities, according to Harvard University’s Summers. And with the funds rate close to zero, the Federal Reserve can’t deliver the negative real interest rates he says the economy needs unless it creates higher inflation.
So what do Summers and Krugman advocate for the secular malaise? Why, a cyclical solution: government spending on infrastructure. They want the kinds of things Keynesians typically promote to stabilize the economy during a recession to become a permanent part of the fiscal architecture.
What's not being talked about is why we have such a condition.
Why not? It's obvious from this chart, isn't it?
When looked at this way it's obvious what happened: We pulled forward demand via more and more debt, yet the underlying demand level never accelerated to match it despite 30 years of the same thing!
In other words we ate tomorrow's hamburger today, but failed to generate the need for a second hamburger. As debt (and thus interest costs) rose we simply borrowed more, but again, we failed to generate demand for more hamburgers and instead simply executed a continuing forward time shift.
That's a very serious problem but it in fact has been going on for a long time.
That is, the marginal productivity of a new dollar of debt has been going down for decades.
How do we know this? Because the chart is right in front of you and this is the BEA's and The Fed's data on a simple plot!
All this borrowing has failed to lift the red line over the blue line on any sort of sustained basis.
That is the economic nostrum put forward and shoved down your mouth has never worked in modern history.
This is the problem with all of the so-called "prescriptions" from the financial industry, economic "pundits" and politicians. All of them rely on borrowing -- that is, more debt -- to fund whatever their particular tonic might be.
History says that no amount of such ever works to lift output on a durable basis and thus the common man's standard of living. It may somewhat lift nominal GDP but the common man's share of that GDP expressed in his pay always declines each and every time this occurs.
For those who say that I'm "cherry-picking" the last 30 years, can you identify the durable post-war increase in GDP that exceeded debt accumulation when I show you the entire series from 1953 forward?
As you can see there is no post-war period where this strategy -- borrow and spend -- has ever worked on a durable basis to lift living standards.
Not in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, or 2010s.
Any such claim is a fraud and those who make such claims should be excoriated by presenting them with the numerical proof of their false claims, forcing them to eat the paper it is printed on. Those who continually press knowingly false claims such as this and manage to get them enacted as policy deserve to be prosecuted.
The cause of the problem we have today is excessive leverage, exactly as it was with Tulip mania, 1873, 1929, 2000 and 2008. The only question was exactly where the locus of that leverage (that is, debt) happened to reside for any particular bubble.
Post-war we got out of the Depression for two reasons: We blew to bits the entire developed world's manufacturing capacity -- save our own -- and we killed millions of working-age, healthy young men on a world-wide basis thereby reducing competition (dramatically!) for jobs.
If I destroy all of my competitors' plants by blowing them up I am obviously going to have both increased demand for my products and pricing power. If I kill the surplus workers then unemployment will drop as well, dramatically reducing demand on social services.
When both happen at the same time my economy booms -- for a while.
What we failed to learn from the 1920s and 30s is why the imbalance came about in the first place. In the 1920s we did the same thing with "creative financing" that we've done since -- we permitted unbridled and unbacked private credit creation despite a mandate in the Federal Reserve Act to control same, we refused to throw in jail (or boil in oil) the Federal Reserve members when they failed to discharge that responsibility and instead intentionally participated in doing the exact opposite, and the resulting bubble and bust gave us the Depression.
The irony is that The Federal Reserve was formed precisely because of the "Long Depression" (kicked off in 1873) resulting from exactly the same problem -- a recognized malady The Fed was allegedly supposed to prevent!
Then we learned exactly nothing from the second instance of the same nonsense within 50 years, trying all the things that Summers and Krugman have been advocating for and which did not work -- we spent another decade in misery in the 1930s as a consequence.
But the worst part of it is that 1920/21 showed us that if instead of "pumping liquidity" The Fed did its job and prevented attempted credit expansion even a catastrophic collapse in industrial production and demand would sort itself out within months!
Of course things came to a head politically as we went into the 1940s and we wound up in a war that killed millions and destroyed the manufacturing base of the entire developed world -- except for the United States.
Perhaps some would like to see the same "solution" this time around. I suspect Barry Soetero is among them, as are Ben Bernanke, Krugman and Summers.
But I'm not.
Leaving aside the insanity of starting a World War in the nuclear age, we know factually that there is another path what works. Specifically, we know from 1920-21 that pulling liquidity instead of increasing it clears the market and restores economic health within months.
The actions of these jackasses are no accident -- they're intentional and their expressed and well-documented intent is to destroy you, the common man.
For how long are you going to allow this to continue?
Are you really sure you know who you're eulogizing this evening, and mourning?
Be sure folks.
I don't have all the facts. But I do remember that he was imprisoned for allegedly doing some very evil things, as opposed to "just" protesting or "just" speaking.
Now maybe he was right, in the end, anyway.
But maybe he wasn't. Maybe the government he spawned and led wasn't either -- and still isn't.
Just look into a few points before you join the chorus -- like, for instance, whether he was a member of the SACP -- indeed, a leader in the SACP.
And if you find by a preponderance of the evidence that he was, then you've got a wee problem -- and that's before you examine whether he was involved in Umknonto we Sizwe in any particular form or fashion.
Never mind the outcome of South Africa since apartheid has "fallen."
Start reading here.... be a skeptic folks. For your own good. And when you hear "leaders" extolling Mendela's "achievements", including the current resident in the White House, well.....
Let me just leave you two words to contemplate tonight, because some time in the future, if I'm still writing Tickers, I suspect I'll be flying the flag on this one, and you know which flag it is too....
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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