Why Are Stocks And Real Estate Rising In A Tepid Economy?

DeflationEconomic value is a political illusion often enough and particularly now. How for instance, is it that when the median household income declines, the percentages of workers with jobs declines, the middle class shrinks, the more rewarding jobs are exported or offered to cheaper aliens while the cost of living trends upward, we nevertheless see both real estate and stocks setting ever higher price records?

Simple enough: The price of a stock or of a house in dollars reflects both the value of the stock or house and the value of the dollar. The Federal Reserve has been dumping unearned dollars out of the air into real estate and through banks and others into the stock market for a long time, bidding up the respective prices without respect for any underlying, real world economic value.

That says: Those stocks and homes aren’t worth more; rather, those dollars trading them are worth less. Ad so, the next time the economy crashes and resets, we should expect both stocks and real estate to come out with significantly lower values that reflect the underlying economic ventures or property rather than gamed money. That is why some observers refer to present stock and real estate values as a bubble … Any observer who can explain why this is not so, will leave us feeling much better.

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannQatar, cut from trade and diplomacy by its neighbors led by the Saudis over allegations of terrorism support and a too friendly posture toward Iran and notably not accused if its plan to compete with established energy powers using its immense natural gas reserve, has hired a Bush Administration former U.S. Attorney General’s law firm to represent it. $2.5 M for the first 90 days, we hear.

Pakistan: A man was sentenced to death for a “blasphemous” Facebook post. (Report) (The peace of Islam)

Atlantic City: Stabilizing after a year of state financial control? (Article) (A gamble …)

Does the Trump Administration want to take control of voting from the states? (Article)

Add the auto industry to overvalued real estate and stocks balloons awaiting a sharp prick from reality to pop. (Article) (For the same reasons: Government injected financial inflammation)

Increase inflation to juice up a flaccid Federal Reserve? (Article) (The usual suspects want to accelerate the devaluation of our money)

Cyberwarfare: Update (Article)

Puerto Rico’s vote for statehood was marred by a record low turnout. (Article) (As a state, it could compete with Illinois?)

Will Illinois be the first state to go bankrupt? (Report)

Does slowing lending really predict coming recession? (Article) (We dunno; guess we’ll find out)

Household debt in the light of (cold, cold) reality…. (Article)

The war on cash: Banks have joined in designing a new cash replacement? (Report)

Venezuela: The Catholic Church has joined the opponents of the repressive socialist government? (Report) (Clergy not against socialism, just against that socialism, right?)

Illegal alien amnesty for minors started under Obama is continuing under Trump? (Report)

Expected pensions will not be paid to the next wave of retirees? (Report) (The money isn’t there)

A newspaper that endorsed Trump (one of six) writes of the experience. (Article) (Telling …)

500 imprisoned cats were destined for restaurants, per their Chinese catnapper. (Report)

The European Union is opening legal cases against Hungary, Poland and others refusing to accept the mandated numbers of Muslim refugees arriving in Italy, France, Germany and elsewhere. (Report)

Obamacare: 47 counties offer no coverage next year; over 2 million patients will find only one insurer? (Report) (Trump’s fault for failing to force Obama to a better design?)

Russia, China, Korea: Update (Article)

The immigrant refugees refused by Australia are accepted in the U.S. per an Obama agreement continued by Trump? (Report)

North Korea: The pathetic, useless story of the imprisoned U.S. student sent home in a year long, persistent coma after tearing down a political poster as a member of a tour group. (Report) (We believe he’s coming home brain dead, as for the rest …)

The wars: Update on the unbelievable cost of modern ammo. (Article)

Hearing aids much cheaper via Senator Elizabeth Warren’s bill freeing them for over the counter sales? (Report) (A great idea, apparently opposed because Warren is a sponsor) (Not because the aid industry would lose its sales monopoly?)

Venezuela: A top opposition politician has “disappeared,” apparently while in government hands. (Report)  (An old South American custom, right?

The United Nations wants to give copyright protection to cultural values/cultural intellectual property. (Report) (The inmates have been running that place for years, whenever they’re not busy stealing from it.)

Illinois notified roadwork contractors to halt work over insufficient money to pay them. (Report)

Vladimir Putin offered James Comey political asylum. (Report) (Who says ex KGB thugs lack humor?)

Hawaii’s legislature is supporting “universal basic income”? (Report) (The state is keeping the Paris ‘global warming’ agreement, too.) (Will the state still receive the Federal bailout funds to pay for it all?)

New York City: A new “jobs plan” is hyped to create 100,000 job? (Report) (Hmnn … How much will that cost NYC taxpayers?)

Federal tax collections in May hit a new record but deficits still loom? (Report)

Afghanistan: 4000 additional troops added by Trump? (Article) (As deficits roll)

Will drones replace U.S. Air Force pilots? (Report) (Maybe after the ex-flyboy AF generals are gone)

Chicago: 6 killed, 37 wounded in weekend shootings. (Report)

A naked woman was arrested after running down a Fayetteville, AR street. (Report)

We hope that’s enough … it ought to be …

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Why Are We Surprised By Political Violenc?

political violenceWhile not rare in the preceding Judeo-Christian United States, violence against people was not thought acceptable; the culture embraced the Fifth Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” That ended with the acceptance of killing inconvenient nascent babies at the behest of their mothers. Along with that came the ongoing rejection of organized churches, handing what had been a religious value system over to government and thereby switching to political values. Wholesale violence against people is now acceptable, so long as government approves of it. And of course, so long as the general public does not too strongly disapprove. We have exchanged sacred human life for socio-politically useful human life.

Comparatively few felt disposed to argue the sacredness of human life when its Author was thought to be a God Who enjoyed a high regard among most of the population. Once that authority had descended to mere men inhabiting a famously divided government, the numbers of folk prepared to dispute the values of various lives rose rapidly. What else should we have expected?

Back last century we had the crazed Unabomber terrorist pushing his Lefty, environment manifest and we had another nutcase, Timothy McVeigh bombing government buildings from the Right. But there was a very impressive difference between those and today’s episodes of political violence: Then, no one approved of the violence.

Compare those with our present shoot-up of Republican Congressfolk practicing for a charity baseball game by yet another apparently unstable attacker:

A Nebraska Democrat is publicized for saying that he thinks shooting Republicans is funny.

Another such in New Jersey made the evening news saying it’s time to “hunt Republicans.”

Cable News CNN reportedly said the shooting was “not evil.”

And in New York City, the same CNN is sponsoring a play that features the assassination of a President Trump double, a scene that has drawn standing ovations. Now, political violence and its advocates have become a staple, if one-sided media product. We don’t seem to disapprove anymore, so long as the other side is doing the suffering.

We aren’t seeing ramping political violence; we are seeing ramping violence generally. The Oakland police chief pointed to it and to the uncaring public attitude that feeds it. The “knockout game” exists in the streets, girls now fight in schools and teachers are injured trying to interfere. Stories of people shot in public places have become routine, as also has become the targeting of police. And all of that without noting the subject of Muslim terrorism.

It is not political violence that has escalated; it is the public tolerance of violence in general. In politics, the political Left is the present opportunist, needing tool for refusing to accept election results. In rejecting such, the Left also rejects the U.S. Constitution which is entirely dependent upon the losers’ acceptance of their loss. We can add that in rejecting that, they are also advertising themselves as totalitarians unwilling to allow opposition. The American Founders would likely be unsurprised by today’s public attitudes, just disappointed.

The worst of it of course, is that once political violence enters and is tolerated, not only is the democratic process sabotaged, it will inevitably be replaced – by violence.

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Getting Real With Obamacare

ObamacareCongressfolk are evidently struggling with Obamacare, delaying their legislation while hiding it from sight. Obviously, they see themselves in a no-win situation. We can see reasons for this:

First, existing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid funding already depended upon borrowing before Obamacare added some 13 million newly entitled beneficiaries. The related Medicare cuts and added taxes have been insufficient to fully fund the new coverage; insurance premiums have been shooting upward while some insurers have withdrawn coverage. Obamacare is financially unsustainable. Politicians must raise taxes, reduce coverage or both. Total repeal is out of the question; too many newly entitled voters would be annoyed. Whatever is done, the Democrats will claim that the GOP is depriving the needy.  The Democrats crafted this trap and the Republicans elected themselves into it.

Second, Obamacare is no insurance program, though it uses insurers for administration. The government mandates coverage, including preexisting conditions. It sets amounts it will pay providers, leaving the insurers only patient premiums as controllable income, with no control of risk assumed. It is said that this was done by the Democrats to drive out insurers, leaving government as the single payer, i.e. “socialized medicine.” If so, it is working.  Logically enough, insurers are demanding changes likely to annoy the insured and the Democrats; patient advocates demand changes unacceptable to insurers. There must be winners and losers; clearly best arrived at in a back room until done.

Third, this comparatively small Obamacare problem of billions of dollars proceeds against the background of perennial, preexisting deficits. If there is insufficient money to fund earlier programs already in place, from whence will come the resources to fund any version of Obamacare? We are waiting for someone in charge to bring that one into our public discourse.

We cannot know, but we surmise that all those in charge, Trumpian or Anti-Trumpian, will leave that question to be publicly addressed only after the next financial crash has restored a vestige of reality.

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannOpinions and events going on without much media notice:

Science: Huge, mysterious craters in Siberia may be explained by hundreds of 12,000 foot craters on the bottom of the Bering Sea, methane blowouts of thawing, frozen gases. (Report) (Planetary flatulence)

The California Senate passed state funded healthcare (no insurers) without providing any funding source. (Report) (Lefty liberals need no funding sources; they use yours.)

The U.S. Navy: Accepted the first new model aircraft carrier. (Report) (Given billions of cost and 5,000 mph over-the-horizon antiship missiles, may we hope that it is also the last? Our grandchildren will be paying for the money borrowed to build it.)

Seth Rich murder mystery deepens? (Video) (The accused Democrat National Committee leaker)

93% of reported new jobs created are not real, only a statistical construct? (Article) (Good grief! And we can keep our doctors …)

Allah likes murder? At June 4, 149 people are dead in Ramadan attacks. (Report)

U.S. Retirees fleeing to cheaper places to make ends meet. Upper class life in Latin America for $1500 month. (Article) (Ok, oeri habla usted Espanol?)

Venezuela: United Airlines cut off service. (Report) (media silence re starvation in socialist paradise)

Silence concerning a U.K. investigation of the sources of jihadi funding because too much of the money comes from the Saudis and other “allies”?

Why the fuss over Trump’s Paris “climate” quit? Because it’s about government tax revenue and corporate profits, not about climate? (Article)

The U.S. paid $1 B to the Paris Agreement Green Fund; all others paid: 0? (Report) (Uncle Sugar)

Central banks own 1/3 of the total world tradeable bond market? (Article) (How will they ever be returned to normal?)

California prisoners cost more than Ivy League college students? (Report)

Saudi Arabia, Bahhrain and Egypt have cut ties with Qatar over terrorism and Qatar ties to Iran? (Report) No, that’s fake cover; the real fight is over Qatar’s use of its enormous natural gas wealth? (Article) A murky Turkey reaction (Report) Turkish troops to Qatar? (Repart) Turkey supports Qatar (Report)

Fake news CNN: The network was caught staging a ‘protest’ to report? (Report)

Teens aren’t working summer jobs anymore? (Report) (Well, they aren’t cheap anymore, either)

The U.K. continues to push for government internet control/censorship? (Report)

Healthcare: How ‘health insurance’ has morphed into tax money redistribution. (Article)

New York: School teachers average salary in Long Island’s Central Island district is $160 k annually? (Report)

Food stamp use dropped 85% with reinstatement of Alabama work requirements? (Report)

Connecticut: First state to follow Puerto Rico into bankruptcy? (Report) (Or will Congress try for a Federal bailout?)

Chicago taxis are slipping toward bankruptcy. (Report) (But Uber isn’t making money either …)

Trump’s budget projections are unreal, per retired (and realistic) Congressman Ron Paul. (Article) (Yeah, and so are everybody else’s …)

Palestinians, Qatar, Egypt, Syria: Update (Article)

How Air Force F-16s are becoming pilotless warplanes. (Article)

Anonymous  cellphone SIM cards are facing more government ID requirements. (Article)

Trump wants more U.S. debt? (Report) (Todays’ politicians benefitting from taxpayers whose children aren’t born yet)

Rumors Trump will revise the Federal Reserve (Report) (IF so, it will be posturing – either follow President Andrew Jackson and end the Fed, or don’t bother, seems to us)

South Korea has suspended installation of a new U.S. anti-missile defense system as its new president appears to lean closer to China and away from the U.S. (Report)

While President Trump backs permanent spying authority for intelligence agencies, Congressional Republicans are wary of government spy agencies snooping authority. (Reports) (Or so they say)

The corruption: Weiner e-mails show favors for Clinton Foundation donors? (Report) (Shh …)

Science: The human origin story has been moved back again, this time by 300,000 years old human skulls found in Morocco. (Report)

Syria: Pro-Assad Russian and Iranian forces threatened to attack U.S. positions in Syria. (Article)

Drones are proliferating among local police/fire departments? (Report) (We’ll bet: Soon, our every move will be tracked by someone. And drones will facilitate anonymous crimes …)

Samsung smartphones can monitor what you do on the web, including emails. (Report)

Confederate monument: Taken down in St. Louis. (Report) (Deconstructing history insures repeating it?

The Culture: A Maryland beach is paralyzed by topless women? (Report) (And they’re barely visible)

The economy: Central banks continue to pump billions of fiat money? (Report) (How much air can a balloon hold?)

More economy: Credit cards are increasingly defaulting? (Report)

Russia/China: Update on espionage, corruption and illusions. (Article)

Spain: Catalonia will vote on breakaway. (Report) Hmnn … Scotland, Quebec and then California?)

Honest Moslems: The Saudi soccer team snubbed a moment of silence for the London jihad victims? (Report) (The Saudi government apologized for the reality show)

Ex FBI boss Comey’s leaks matched those for which General Patreus was convicted? (Report)

Philippines: U.S. special forces are helping the islands’ government against ISIS-affiliated terrorists? (Report) (While the new president leans away from the U.S. toward China?)

NATO: President Trump pledged to adhere to Article 5, which states that an attack on any member is an attack on all. (Report) (If the U.S. is to continue as the world’s policeman, how will that be funded from declining economies?)

Ex FBI boss Comey’s leaker intermediary has gone into hiding? (Report) (Hmnn … Why would he do that?)

A judge decided: Chimpanzees aren’t people. (Report) (Ok, but don’t you wonder sometimes?)

Chicago: 5 Dead, 25 wounded in weekend shootings. (Report)

A naked man practices Yoga publicly in Pueblo, Colorado. (Report)

A busy week, much upstaged by the Congressional Comey Show …

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UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME: The Latest Temptation From The Left

ZuckerbergThe government should solve many of mankind’s difficulties simply by providing every citizen a guaranteed basic income; enough money for a minimally decent living. Or so says Mark Zuckerberg, a thirty-smething Facebook founder billionaire, who may aspire to become a Democratic replacement for President Trump.

Not a new idea, it is presently under small scale experiment in Finland and is proposed elsewhere that the Left is paramount, though it was recently voted down by the Swiss. Typically in a developed country, this would have the government supplying say, $2,000 monthly per person; the recipients would be free of obligation and could earn whatever additional income that they could. In the U.S. now, all the voters need do to unleash this cornucopia would be to elect the Facebook plutocrat and his friends to run the country.

No doubt this will appeal to a lot of public school grads in the U.S. Probably it could appeal also to the mainstream economists who support the Federal Reserve’s grossly expanded balance sheet and its accompanying governmentally devalued money. However, numbers of dwellers between the U.S. coasts and others still hooked on reality may be less excited by the prospect. Neither Mr. Zuckerberg nor any of the others peddling this magic provide details explaining the sources for the needed money. This may not be an accident?

We know that government cannot create wealth; only take it from its creators. That, by extracting it via taxes and such, by borrowing it while obligating taxpayers or by stealing it using inflating. Government can only relocate wealth; it cannot create it. Universal basic income then, depends upon draining the accumulate wealth at the top of the economy to spread it incrementally at the bottom. But given human nature, who will trouble himself to create and accumulate wealth, knowing that it will be confiscated? It is the fallacy that disqualifies socialism as viable economic theory: Our universe does not offer something for nothing. The problem is compounded by the inevitably corrupt government officials who enrich themselves at the cost of the citizens. For doubters, we recommend a visit to Venezuela.

But never mind, as Mr. Zuckerberg et al await their 2020 election shot, they will surely claim that, whatever occurred elsewhere in other times, this time with them in charge, will be different. Sure. What is defined as “expecting a different result from multiple repetitions of the same process?” Two peoples famed for keeping life on an even keel are the Finns and the Swiss; the former are appeasing their wishful thinkers by running a small experiment before proceeding toward this dreamland, the latter rejected it outright. Perhaps as banking is better understood in Switzerland…

As this develops, it will be interesting to see how many votes Zuckerberg et al are able to buy, using the American taxpayers’ money.

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannA large helping from a busy week:

The corruption: Why are some Congressfolk resolutely defending IT techie villains who have fled the country to escape justice? (Article) (Conspiracy or corruption? You decide)

Fox News will fire Hannity next week? (Report) (Allegedly for coverage of Democratic staffer Seth Green’s murder) (Saturday: Hasn’t happened yet, fake news?)

Chicago: Leading the nation in population shrinkage? (Article) (Government Progressive)

Trump’s budget is political posturing, not serious. (Article) (Some useful facts)

The corruption: How Congressfolk buy their committee places? (Article) (Hmn …)

U.S. home prices: Is the current rise an increase in property value or an increase in available dollars instead? (Report)

Mexico: Update – Pipeline fuel theft, drugs, violence and corruption (Article)

Space: Update on Chinese space stations. (Article)

The economy: Per capita Federal taxes have more than doubled since John Kennedy was president? (Report)

Venezuela: Are the U.S. media ignoring this collapse of socialism? (Article)

Falling off a lawnmower in an intersection resulted in DUI charges against the driver.

Science: A new study resulted in leukemia remission. (Report)

The climate: The Arctic has warmed before? (Report)

The economy: Common sense notice that subtracting total unrepayable debt from totaled asset prices might not leave much … And it’s what happens when enough folk notice that the debt won’t be repaid. (Article)

Britain’s E.U. exit: The Eurocrats want the U.K. to pay through the nose and accept an E.U. relative as the umpire. (Article) (Divorces are like that))

Syria: Update Article) (ISIS shrinks, Iran is impeded, Kurds advance, Assads holding)

Science: Men’s and women’s brains differ (Report) (Who knew?)

China: Moody’s downgrade of China’s credit discussed (Article) (China has debt too)

Illinois: The state’s debt rating was downgraded to one step above junk. (Report) (“Who has ears to hear, let hi har”)

Canada: More debt (Report) (World finance is a row of hollow dominos?)

Venezuela: Government troops attacked reporters trying to cover a demonstration. (Report) (Statist paradise must be shown to work or else) (Is Soros helping Venezuela too?)

Science: A third detection of gravity waves (from a massive black hole merger) (Report)

The culture: The U.S. was just ranked the 114th most peaceful nation. (Report) (Hmnn …)

More Science: Injections of young blood may help fight cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease … (Report) (Well, it could boost aging immune systems but we notice it says: ”may.”

Military mismanagement: The U.S. Air Force wasted the wong bombs/tactics on ISIS for months. (Report) (And now spends billions to replace wasted specialized ammo)

More questions ignored in the Seth Rich murder? (Report) (The Democratic National Committee leakerS)

Google faces a huge E.U. fine for alleged favoring of its own shopping service over its competitors? (Report)

Puerto Rico: Increasing emigration fuels economic collapse? (Report) (North America’s little Venezuela shaping up?)

Connecticut: When “Tax the rich” runs out … (Article)

Ex-Pres Obama’s brother Malik shared a photo of Barak’s Kenyan birth certificate? (Report) (Will anyone notice?)

Still more science: Instantly rechargeable batteries may come from a new tech discovery. (Report)

Healthcare: An entirely new method for pain relief has been found. (Report)

More corruption: A Deutsche Bank trader admitted rigging precious metals markets? (Article)

Corruption again: A Labor union spent $20 M more on politics (mostly helping Democrats) than it spent representing its members. (Report)

California: The Governor’s budget includes millions to protect illegal immigrants? (Report) (They’re more deserving than California citizens?)

Unemployment approaches a historic low, so why aren’t wages rising? (Article)

The Obamas bought an $8 M home in Washington. (Report) (Not bad after 8 years on a President’s salary)

U.S. Economic growth of last 10 years matches growth in the 1930s depression? (Article)

The economy: 25% of Americans can’t pay monthly bills; 40% lack $400 in cash.

Inside the So-Called Resistance” cleverly analyzes the current anti-Trump program of the Left. (Article)

Korea: Update (Article)

The corruption: A (D FL) Representative used $12k of campaign funds to pay his wife? (Report)

A new Russian jet is pioneering an advance in carbon tech. (Report)

Sudan: Update (Article)

Space: The X 37B  U.S. Air Force mystery space plane update. (Article)

Israel: President Trump decided against keeping his earlier promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Israel’s capital Jerusalem. (Report)

Cjitizens’ 401 k retirement plans are reportedly under evaluation in Congress as new revenue sources to offset expected tax relief. (Report)

Tesla: Some lenders to Tesla will be repaid with stock instead of money. (Report) (Another taxpayer subsidized boondoggle on financial skids?)

Barcelona and Utrecht have joined Helsinki in the experimental test of guaranteed basic income that the Swiss voted down in February. (Report) (Perennial triumph of hope over experience?)

The climate: “Nature” editorial on the exit from the Paris climate agreement. (A leading science journal)

The culture: A young male beat an apparently random 91 year old man on the sidewalk. (Report)

More culture: A disgruntled Augusta citizen forced closure on city hall by dumping a cupful of live bedbugs there. (Report)

The Top CIA Iran agent was outed by the New York Times because it disliked his policies? (Report)

Flying affordable class (Economy) has become unpleasant and will be worse? (Report)

How the Federal Reserve killed saving in the U.S. (Article) (And has eliminated pension plans, too)

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to increase sanctions against North Korea. (Report) (China, Russia on board; no media “attaboys” for Trump?)

Chicago: 4,368 people were shot in 2016.

A naked woman was arrested for punching a San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputy. (Report)

And that’s all there is, there isn’t any more …

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