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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fourth of July: What Are We Celebrating?

We're fast approaching July 4th which for pretty much all Americans is a cause for celebration; for parties and BBQs and vacations to the mountains, the beach or an amusement park..

And we ask in all honesty, 'What are we really celebrating?'

The birth of our nation?

Yes that is a very worthy thing to acknowledge assuming people are really taking a moment out of that day to reflect upon and understand how special it was the nation was conceived
Are Americans also celebrating freedom and democracy?

Well... ehh..  If so, we're not sure why..

In many ways we're no freer in 2014 than Britain, France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc..  So if we're celebrating That, there isn't much in the way of current Exceptionalism to say we're "freer" unless everything is in competition with the likes of Cuba and North Korea..

Then sure.. We're freer..

Then again, as long as a citizen can be imprisoned for saying or wishing something about one of his/her leaders that Secret Service objects to..
Or lose what took a lifetime to build and cultivate such as a business because of words PC pricks and the corporate world object to..

Or have one's outward political expression limited or ostrich penned to a meaningless vote every election cycle or venting in the comment section of the local newspaper..

Well, that's not truly 'free' or 'democratic' is it..

We sure hope people aren't celebrating how great and prosperous a nation we are now, because it would be one big illusionary fib..
So let's really pull back the veneer and understand where we are right this moment economically as a nation..

There was a recent report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) which showed that net employment growth in the United States since 2000 has gone entirely to immigrants, legal and illegal.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CIS scholars Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler found that there were 127,000 fewer working-age natives holding a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level.

In addition, they found that amazingly 58 million native born Americans are currently not working..
The breakdown is as follows:  8.7 million native college graduates are not working, as are 17 million with some college, and 25.3 million with no more than a high school education.

Trends since 2000 soundly defeat the argument of some that immigration on balance increases job opportunities for natives.

Over 17 million immigrants arrived in the country in the last 14 years, yet native employment has deteriorated significantly.

So if you were born in this country, well.. that's not worth celebrating is it?

Then there is the financially tapped-out consumer that the economy desperately depends on to keep shopping and travelling and gambling..   Anything but Save..
We mentioned before the official first quarter of 2014 of GDP ended up at minus 2.6%...  Two quarters in a row of minus growth is to the anally retentive financial mathematicians, an official 'recession'..

So will we be in one soon?

Unless the numbers are doctored, you betcha..

But how can one not expect an 'official' 2nd recession when no one in a position of decision making power wants to do a single thing to create jobs and thus hurt Wall Street's profit margins?

Personal spending predictions has missed for the last two months and its the 4th miss in the last six months, with May showing a personal consumption rise by 0.2% which was half the 0.4% growth expected
If native Americans aren't working and not chiseling away at whatever nest egg they still possess and not dramatically deepening into more debt, where will this second quarter economic spike ever come from?

Or will people this weekend be celebrating the fact our economy is in bad shape but compared to others, it could be worse?

'Sure each US citizen would have to pay $55k to get the National Debt to zero but hey, did you see Japan ($110k per person)?'

Or maybe most people will just be celebrating the heavenly delight of a 3 to 4 day weekend, and whatever the excuse, so be it...
As for us, we'll definitely be celebrating the past..  Our founding fathers, the Declaration of Independence and its meaning..  The birth of the first government on Earth not led by an Emperor, Czar or King..

And think of all George Washington and the Continental Army and the colonists themselves had to go through to secure victory and ensure there would be a nation

And all the promise held.. Sincere optimism for a better tomorrow..

And how economically, politically and socially we've squandered it.
And how we've given our rights and freedoms so easily to banks, politicians and the Politically Correct to a point one has to live in continual fear of the State and never express an honest thought or sentiment toward it nor another

Then we suppose we'll do what most others will do..

Dress head to toe in apparel adorned with flags, shove burgers, ribs and 'dogs down our collective gullets as we sit in sticky-gooey heat, watch the kiddies set off cheap fireworks feel mosquitoes attach to and create new itchy blots on our skin..

Someone cue up a Sousa march...
~  Oopsie, wrong flag.. But in a "Free" nation, we don't show intolerance to different ideas and beliefs do we?