Free Markets, Free People

Monthly Archives: April 2013


Jobless numbers “unexpectedly” rise to 4 month high

Because, you know, we’re in a (perpetual) recovery and stuff like this isn’t supposed to happen:

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits hit a four-month high last week, the latest suggestion the labor market recovery lost some momentum in March.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, the highest level since November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists, who had expected claims to drop to 350,000, said while part of the rise reflected difficulties adjusting the data during the Easter and spring breaks, there was no doubt the pace of job growth had eased.

“What we do know is that the growth momentum has slowed, employment has slowed. The question is how much?” said Millan Mulraine, a senior economist at TD Securities in New York.

How much?  Well let’s consider something shall we?  What has recently and finally gone into full effect to the point that employers can now finally make some plans with reference to it as to how many they plan to employ (or continue to employ)?

Oh, yeah, ObamaCare.  The taxes and penalties kick in this year and – not saying this is the only reason – companies and corporations are finally put in the position of executing their plan to avoid the prohibitive costs and penalties imposed.

That’s right – “avoid”. Again, as is usually the case, the left has ignored Human Nature 101 as they usually do. You have to remember, the purpose of their utopia is to change human nature once and for all from a self-interested and independent being to a hive worker enslaved to the state, er, an enlightened being who thinks of others first … yeah, that’s the ticket.

And when their utopian plans meet human nature, well they call the result “unintended consequences”. We who study human nature call them “entirely predictable outcomes”. They seem surprised by these “unexpected” developments. We simply shake our head at their studied stupidity.

The problem, of course, is they presently have the power of the state in their hands. What that means is they will continue to try to drive the square peg of their utopia into the round hole of human nature and use the power of government to do so.

What that means is at some point, when they’re finally out of power, we’re going to have to pick up their pieces of what they’ve destroyed and try to piece it together in some form or fashion, if that’s possible.

And all the while that’s being attempted, we’ll have to listen to them whining and complaining that what is being done isn’t “fair” or “equitable”.

Well, what you’re suffering now is a result of “fair and equitable” nonsense that ignored Human Nature 101. Maybe it’s time to figure that out if you’re on the left.

~McQ


Economic Statistics for 3 Apr 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

The MBA reports mortgage applications fell -4.0% last week. While purchases were up 1.0%, re-fis fell -6.0%.

ADP’s Employment Report for March shows a weak 158,000 new private payroll jobs, pointing to weakness in Friday’s Employment Situation.

The ISM Non-Mfg Index fell 1.6 points to 54.4 in March. The employment component fell a sharp 3.9 points.

~
Dale Franks
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What was Einstein’s definition of “insanity”?

Oh yeah, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

Today’s example, via the usual suspects, just boggles the mind:

The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with weaker credit, an effort that officials say will help power the economic recovery but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place.

President Obama’s economic advisers and outside experts say the nation’s much-celebrated housing rebound is leaving too many people behind, including young people looking to buy their first homes and individuals with credit records weakened by the recession.

In response, administration officials say they are working to get banks to lend to a wider range of borrowers by taking advantage of taxpayer-backed programs — including those offered by the Federal Housing Administration — that insure home loans against default.

This is just, frankly, incredible in its stupidity.  We’ve been here, done this and suffered the consequences in terms of a financial meltdown and an economy that seems to be in permanent “recession”.  We’d have the T-shirt too, but they took it off our backs.

Consider the administration’s solution to the perception that we’re “leaving too many people behind:  Let’s do again what was a major contributor to the last melt down.  No prob.  They’ll just blame the banks and the “market”.  The result: more people “left behind”.

I mean, it hasn’t even been a decade yet.  We’re not even doing this with a new administration.  These are, for the most part, the same people who crashed it last time.

Why is it that “leaving too many people behind” is the priority, when in the past those who were supposedly left behind, found some way in the future to catch up?  Why is it government’s job to “insure” risky loans because of that feel-good claptrap?

Because we’re freakin nuts, that’s why.  We’re bound and determined to ruin this country based on an ideology that plays to “feelings” and “emotions” rather than good common sense, the laws of economics and freedom and libery.  That’s why.

This is tar and feathers worthy, yet we’ll sit around like lumps while a majority claims it’s a “good idea” because it is “only fair”.

“Fair”.  The word that will – is – ruining this country.

~McQ


Some sanity, sad as it is

It’s not often one finds a dose of sanity in the New York Times. When one does, it should be celebrated, rather than ignored. In this case, the sanity comes from David Stockman, former budget director for President Reagan. His bottom line is no different than what I’ve been predicting since 2009. It’s just as gloomy:

[T]he Main Street economy is failing while Washington is piling a soaring debt burden on our descendants, unable to rein in either the warfare state or the welfare state or raise the taxes needed to pay the nation’s bills. By default, the Fed has resorted to a radical, uncharted spree of money printing. But the flood of liquidity, instead of spurring banks to lend and corporations to spend, has stayed trapped in the canyons of Wall Street, where it is inflating yet another unsustainable bubble.

When it bursts, there will be no new round of bailouts like the ones the banks got in 2008. Instead, America will descend into an era of zero-sum austerity and virulent political conflict, extinguishing even today’s feeble remnants of economic growth.

He calls it a state-wreck, which is exactly what it is. An arrogant government that thinks it can fix everything, help everyone, and create money out of nothing has corrupted the markets & political culture, and mortgaged our future.

Even now, the Fed, after two previous rounds of "monetary stimulus"—code words for creating en ever larger supply of "money"—is dumping $44 billion cash into the market every month. And where it going? Creating millions of new jobs? No. It’s just going to Wall Street, where the equity markets have hit an all-time high.

The wheels have been wobbling for the last five years. Sometime in the not-too-distant future, they’ll simply…come off, and then we shall see what we see.

Read the whole article. Save it. Print it out. Keep it. That way, you’ll be be able to show your children how the richest, most powerful nation in the history of the earth committed suicide.

~
Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 2 Apr 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

Automakers are reporting the strongest monthly sales in 6 years for March. Ford, GM: 6%, Chrysler: 5%, Toyota,Nissan 1%.

In weekly retail sales, ICSC-Goldman Store Sales rose 4.7% for the week, but are up only 1.9% from last year. Redbook reports a strong year-on-year sales increase of 3.5%.

Factory orders rose 3.0% in February, and January’s number was revised upwards by a full 1% to -1.0%. Ex-Transportation, orders rose only 0.3%, however.

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Dale Franks
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Regulation tends to cost lower income people more

I know that’ll come as an absolute stunner, huh? Not really. Regulation costs money. It costs money for compliance enforcement, which comes from taxes, and it costs companies money for compliance in the form of higher costs – costs that are passed on to consumers.

So? So – from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, find out:

Low-income households benefit the most when they act to reduce their exposure to the greatest risks they face, such as relatively common events and activities that cause illness, injury, and death, many of which can be traced to living in unsafe neighborhoods. In contrast, high-income households generally focus more on small risks—for example, tiny environmental risks that are far less likely to occur and generally affect fewer people at the expo- sure levels regulations address.

LOWER INCOME HOUSEHOLDS BEAR MORE OF THE COSTS OF REGULATION

Regulation focused on small risks delivers benefits to a limited group but spreads the costs across everyone. As a result, regulation effectively transfers money from low income households, who need to prevent larger risks, to high income households, who are concerned about small risks. Low income households are, in a sense, paying for the lifestyle preferences of the wealthy.

Such regulation increases consumer prices and lowers worker wages.

• Regulations act like a regressive sales tax, with middle and lower income households bearing much of the cost of rules that focus on the risk preferences of wealthier households, since they all pay the same, higher prices.

• Cost of regulation as a share of income is estimated to be as much as six to eight times higher for low-income households than for high-income households.

• [Diana] Thomas estimates that households can mitigate the same level of mortality risks privately for about one fifth of the cost of public risk-reduction strategies.

Well, imagine that, the laws of economics at work in a very predictable way.  And, of course, completely opposite of the professed claim of the left to be on the side of the poor. Because it is that very group that continually push more and more regulation because, one assumes, they believe if some regulation is good, more has to be better. But, as a group, being mostly economically illiterate combined with unaccountable faith in government power, they end up with these sorts of ‘unintended consequences’ all of the time.

~McQ


For our readers in software development–a new technology called the agilo-modulizer

Today seems like a perfect day to tell you about some new technology I’ve been involved with for software development. Here’s a ninety second video with a high level description, made by the video training company that I did a course with last year:

 

I know some of our regular commenters, particularly looker, will be interested in this technology.

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