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Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Doesn't Improve Just Because You Toasted It

It is always difficult for us to write genuinely insightful posts during the last two weeks of the calendar year..

It is not that we are not capable or willing..

It is just we know people, even our audience want some fluff and frivolity during the Christmas-New Years holiday

Most do not really want to be told with many specifics how bad a financial shape we truly are in despite corporate media saying otherwise
And even those who did not support or vote for Obama wish to know during the holidays what an utter fuck-up he has been and continues to be, with another 13 months of this incompetent mulatto in office.

"Dashing through the snow on a white horse open sleigh..." and "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.." -- That's about the extent of most' attention span during the last two weeks..

So now we can go back to normal..

Ever notice that 7 years since the market crashed and everyone was so fearful of the economy imploding in late 2008, the term 'recovery' is still being tossed about..
No one, even the Oreo cookie tossing the football around in the Oval Office ever uses the word 'recovered'

Most of the time, a recession or small-d depression occurs as part of a 5-6 business cycle which is followed by 'recovery' that lasts 4-6 months, followed by 'recovered' then growth and prosperity

Not here..  Not now..

In the last five years, the annual GDP of the US has been this:

2010 --  +2.5
2011 --  +1.6
2012 --  +2.2
2013 --  +1.5
2014 --  +2.4
The GDP for 2009 was negative but we'll put the blame on Bush for that year.  Also, the figures for 2015 haven't come out yet since it is only the 4th day of 2016 as of this writing..

But on quarterly reporting, 1Q was a minus 0.2, 2Q was +2.3 and 3Q was +1.5 growth..

4Q for 2015 won't be released until the end of January.

Pretty pathetic really under this Commander in Crap..

But of course that's not what we are repeatedly told in the media and our leader..  All is rosy and bright and only getting better..
The best way to put these paltry growth figures into perspective is to give a comparison and we will go back to the malaise days of the one-term Jimmy Carter Presidency of the late 1970s when inflation ran amuck and interest rates were exorbitantly high

1977 -- 4.6
1978 -- 5.6
1979 -- 3.2
1980 -- minus 0.24

In three of four years of the Carter Presidency the US GDP showed constant growth that far surpasses what we have today, and you can see how quick that drop off came to recession figures in 1980

Also remember, the National Debt under Carter was still under $1 Trillion..  That benchmark would not be surpassed until Reagan
Today our debt is at $18.8 Trillion which means it has gone up by over $17 trillion in approximately 35 years...

And we're all told to Keep Calm, Carry On and Keep Consuming and yet for the next year at least it ain't getting any better folks..

It is not just the US government that is in debt..   It is US states as well with currently more than $500 billion in combined debt load to creditors, most of it due to commitments present & future to pension funds..

Everyone just assumes when things get too difficult, the US Government will simply bail the States out..  Maybe they will..  Maybe they won't...

Probably depends as much on anything if the President in power and the state in need share political ideology
Same thing with student loan debt which is at $1.3 Trillion and climbing  ($400 billion greater than combined American credit card debt)

And you almost think, who can blame these stupid students, the future generation of experimenters in unprotected sex, drugs and binge drinking for going this direction and selling their souls (and economic independence) at the age of 18 just for a meaningless degree from Football/Basketball Factory University

The parents keep pushing them into this fate for they know no better alternative and no one in positions of influence and respect in academia would dare have the guts to suggest to young people to find their way in life outside the money-syphoning 4 yr undergrad trap
Reminds us of a famous comedic but true line from the movie 'Caddyshack' where the young golfer is brown-nosing a judge to get a scholarship so he can go to college and the judge replies, 'Well the world needs ditch diggers too..'

Don't expect any doctors, dentists, lawyers or accountants to fill up your potholes in the springtime..

Cities, counties and municipalities all over the nation are also in debt as well so no one escapes.. It is all governments of all shapes know how to do.. borrow for today and get the children & grandchildren to repay it

Right now you may be paying high property taxes not based on a decision your local community officials voted on recently but some bond issued 10-20 years ago on a community swimming pool or such that is now in arrears
And while you were sleeping the last remnants of the holiday season away last night:

After intense protests by Iranians outside the embassy of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Foreign Minister announced that Riyadh has cut diplomatic ties with Tehran. The Saudis have demanded the Iran mission leave the country within 48 hours

This caused global markets to at first spark at the news as the global rats who make their profit off the markets rejoiced at the possibility of oil prices spiking..

Then realizing it also meant the world is closer to war, China's market's dropped precipitously followed by a 300pt drop in the US market prior to bell opening this morning..
Riyadh and Tehran have been squaring off in Syria for a while (where Iran's military is present and the Saudis are fighting by proxy) and in Yemen (where the Saudis are present and the Iranians here fight by proxy)

So basically the two countries are on the verge of a historic diplomatic crisis which has the potential to stoke sectarian violence across the Muslim world.

Here are some headlines late this evening care of Reuters:

*  "SAUDI ARABIA DOES NOT CARE IF IT HAS ANGERED THE WHITE HOUSE, SOURCE FAMILIAR WITH SAUDI GOVERNMENT'S THINKING SAYS"

*  SAUDI ARABIA'S POSITION TOWARD IRAN IS 'ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,' SOURCE  FAMILIAR WITH SAUDI GOVERNMENT'S THINKING SAYS
Don't worry folks..  Obama is our President..

'Everything will be fine..'  ~Repeat..  'Everything will be fine..'

~Repeat..

'Everything will be...'

~Repeat..

** Cock-a-doodle-doo, folks..  Time to Wakey-Wakey..  **
Ernie:  "Burt.. Hey Burt..  Did you read today's "Ants & Grasshoppers"?  I'm concerned..
Bert:  (whiny voice) "Leave me alone Ernie..  I'm trying to sleep & dream about pigeons and my bottle cap collection"