Free Markets, Free People
The following US economic statistics were announced today:
Industrial production fell -0.4% in October, while capacity utilization at the nation’s factories fell -0.5% to 77.8%. Manufacturing was hit even harder, with production down -0.9%.
The net inflow of of long-term financial securities into the US fell sharply to $3.3 billion from last month’s $90.3 billion.
E-commerce sales in the 3rd Quarter rose 3.7%. E-commerce’s share of total retail sales rose from 5.1% to 5.2%.
In a case study of cutting your nose off despite your face, union members who walked out on strike at bankrupt Hostess Brands (makers of Twinkies and other well known products) and refused to return to work by yesterday have forced the company into liquidation. Of the 18,000 workers who will lose their jobs, about one-third were union members.
The company had offered a compensation package that had cuts (to include an 8% pay cut). These were necessary during bankruptcy reorganization to keep the company afloat. The union refused the package and walked out.
Apparently, 100% of nothing is much better than 92% of something … especially in this job market.
Congratulations Bakery, Confectionery, and Tobacco workers and the Grain Millers International Union, among others. You put the capital “S” in Stupid, Selfish and Shortsighted (a crown previously held by the former union members of Eastern Airlines).
But I’m sure this will somehow end up being blamed on “greedy Capitalists” and be declared a “market failure” by the usual suspects.
Obama has strained to make everyone believe he is open to “negotiations” on the tax rates in dispute that are leading us inexorably to this “fiscal cliff” everyone is talking about.
The word “negotiate” implies compromise. You give a little, he gives a little, you reach a deal neither really likes but both can live with.
He has no intention of giving anything. Why should he? He can’t run for a third term. He has nothing to lose if he stands his ground. Nope, the only one’s who have anything to lose in this one are the usual deer-in-the-headlights suspects. And, of course, Obama has someone else to blame:
By taking an absolutist line, he’s basically gambling that Republicans will be more reasonable than he is and will blink. But if they don’t blink and we go over the cliff, from his point of view so what? Mr. Obama then has an excuse to blame Republicans if there’s another recession. Meanwhile, he pockets the higher tax rates that take effect on January 1 anyway, and he can then negotiate a budget deal next year without having to make any tax concessions.
He pleases his left wing for which higher tax rates are a secular religion, while pinning one more defeat on Republicans. Lest you think this is a conservative fantasy, it’s more or less the tax cliff strategy that Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington advocated on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” and that labor leaders lobbied for at the White House on Tuesday.
So, as we wander toward Taxmageddon, fear not, either way it goes, Obama figures he wins. So why try?