The history of economic central planning is not exactly glorious. In fact, as American economist Thomas Sowell once noted, "in general [central planning] has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it."
The recent failure of North Korea’s missile tests reaffirms the deficiencies of its ballistic and nuclear programs. Perversely, it also increases the risk of an imminent greater destabilizing behavior.
Whether you support him or not, my guess is that most middle-aged Americans are very surprised about Bernie Sanders' popularity. However, it shouldn’t be a surprise given the economic stress many Americans face. The four charts below capture the essence of what I’m talking about...
"Well, if you're involved in the oil patch directly, drilling activity or anything like that I think we've gone beyond recession and it's more a depression. The facts are that this latest round of commodity price collapse that happened the first part of this year I think really put the nail in the coffin for the industry."
It is quite evident there is something amiss about the BLS’ employment reports. Is the disparity simply an anomaly in the seasonal adjustments caused by the depth of the financial crisis? Is there an exceptional and unaccounted for margin of error in the surveys? Or, is it something more intentional by government-related agencies to keep “confidence” elevated as Central Banks globally “paddle like crazy” to keep global economies afloat.
The dangerous divergence will then take a nasty turn. The bottom half of the 1% will now be as angry as the 99%. Any attempt by the establishment to further screw the nation by bailing themselves out will be met with violent disapproval. The country is a powder keg. The upcoming election is guaranteed to inflame opposing factions. A stock market crash in the next six months would sow the seeds of financial, political, and social upheaval not seen in this country since the 1960s. The established social order will be swept away in a swirl of chaos and retribution. The dangerous divergence will be resolved.
The propagandic wordsmithery is becoming pathetic as the Obama administration desperately avoids having to admit that it is sending more "boots on the ground" to strengthen its invasion of Syria. Having admitted to "greatly increasing" its operations in the war-torn nation earlier in the month, Defense Department spokesman Peter Cook today outlined why 250 additional Special Forces operatives will be put - in his words - "in harm's way" to "improve intelligence" carefully adding that "they will not be engaged in direct combat... though can defend themselves."
"For traders, just when they were promised an end was in sight, policy divergences would become tradable and correlations would weaken, the nightmares keep coming. The problem is, that despite all of the emphatically reasoned analysis, no one really believes anything. And it may not pay to. The distortions are just too great.... Think it was a big deal to be threatened with a Treasury portfolio sell-off? Wait until it’s the S&P 500."
That the status quo--the current pyramid of wealth and power dominated by the few at the top - has failed is self-evident, but we can't bear to talk about it. This is not just the result of a corporate media that serves up a steady spew of pro-status quo propaganda--it is also the result of self-censorship and denial. The truth is the usual menu of reforms can’t stop this failure, so we have to prepare ourselves for the radical transformations ahead.
The mainstream view of the unemployment statistics suggest that any weakness in the US economy, manufacturing or beyond, will be temporary and shallow because employment growth remains robust. In fact, the payroll reports are irrelevant. Actual economic analysis and fruitful interpretation lies only in ignoring them. Viewing the economy only through the lens of the BLS figures leads to a world that just doesn’t exist; it’s why policymakers, economists, and the media can’t seem to gather that the recovery ended years ago.
The Obama administration will likely soon release at least part of a 28-page secret chapter from a congressional inquiry into 9/11 that may shed light on possible Saudi connections to the attackers. The documents, kept in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol, contain information from the joint congressional inquiry into "specific sources of foreign support for some of the Sept. 11 hijackers while they were in the United States."
As part of his World Apology Tour visit to Britain, President Obama took time to answer questions from London students. When asked about his presidential legacy, Obama said he was proud of the healthcare reforms, and added that "saving the world from a Great Depression – that was quite good."
Sadly, it is undeniable that this reality has become more and more prevalent in America as the 21st century has unfolded, and we don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’ve seen this flare up during a decade and a half characterized by a pummeling of the middle class, a decimation of civil liberties, and the entrenchment of a callous and corrupt political and economic oligarchy.
"In the post-Doha world, when we're still in what is essentially a free market for oil, the Russians will pump as much oil out as the market will absorb and the Saudis have said much the same thing."