America’s infrastructure is not crumbling, massive spending won’t create any permanent jobs, and productivity is not suffering because of our infrastructure. These are economic myths that lobbyists, infrastructure contractors, and the American Society of Civil Engineers perpetuate to get fat contracts.
Unless the press or Robert Mueller come up with a smoking gun, a dead body, and a cache of rubles, we can assume Donald Trump will be our president for a full four-year term. But Trump as President continues to sabotage himself. He risks becoming irrelevant because no one will take him seriously. Which might be a good thing.
Is gift giving during Christmas and Hanukkah a wasteful practice by which we just crave status from friends and family? Is it a harmless, even joyful, practice to bestow goodwill and joy on the ones we love? Is it a giant commercial venture by which retailers encourage us to part with dollars in an orgy of gift giving by folks who ought to be guarding their earnings rather than spending? Is it a necessary part of our economy that drives production and wealth? Is it a religious act? Or is it a joyous celebration of the material, which, when you think about it, is a celebration of life.
While pundits argue about the whys and motives of the Sandy Hook shooter, our children are vulnerable to more attacks. Studies show that these mass murders are becoming more common. It seems now that one event inspires (if that is the right word) others to commit heinous acts of violence. Ignore the arguments about gun control, mental health intervention, and the need for the safety of our schools because the powers that be will debate them to no practical end. Here are two suggestions to protect our children NOW.
The Fed panicked. It is extraordinary that the Fed would announce an open-ended "we'll print as much as it takes, as long as it takes" policy. Chairman Bernanke is sending a signal to the markets and to government that the economy is bad and getting worse and that the Fed will do its part as everyone expects them to do. This is a clear signal to the markets and the world that the Fed stands for monetary inflation. They don't know what else to do. Here is the fallout.
Recent economic data, and especially today's unemployment numbers reveal the powerlessness of the Fed in the face of underlying economic problems that they fail to understand. The Fed has tried every trick in the book for the past 4 years to revive the economy only to see it continue to weaken. Unfortunately they only know how to do one thing—print. The ultimate effect of this will be more economic stagnation, not real economic growth. Here is why.
“You are free to not eat broccoli, but if you don’t the government will impose a penalty on you. This penalty is really just a tax and since the government has the power to tax for all sorts of reasons, they can tax you if you don’t eat broccoli.”
This is the logic of Justice Roberts argument in the Obamacare case that was handed down today.
This should not surprise us because the Constitution is whatever the Justices wish it to be. According to today’s ruling, there is nothing in the Constitution preventing them from doing this.
The employment numbers that came out Friday were very bad and caught most economists and analysts by surprise. Nothing the Fed has done has worked. Once again the ranks of the unemployed grow, wages flatten out, manufacturing weakens, GDP declines, and savings are spent to maintain lifestyles. The U.S. and much of the rest of the world is heading toward stagnation, if not recession. Yet, despite the failures of central bank policies, they will persist in doing the same wrong thing again. Here we review the data and explain why things are heading south.
The Fed is clearly worried about the economy. Ben Bernanke's latest speeches aren't exactly inspiring. It is as if he thinks the rosy(ier) numbers are some prank being played upon him by the gods; that soon this will all be taken away. He is right. He admits he doesn't understand why the economy is the way it is. Reality doesn't fit his theory. ("It's supposed to work, dammit!") So, what do you do when you are the head of the world's biggest printing press, and don't know what else to do? Why QE3 of course.