Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 25 Jun 15

Personal income rose a sharp 0.5% in May, while consumer spending rose 0.9%. The PCE Price Index rose 0.3%, overall and 0.1% at the core. On a year-over-year basis, the PCE Price Index is up just 0.2%, while the core rate is 1.2%.

The PMI services index is down sharply in June’s flash reading, falling to 54.8, vice 56.5 in the final May reading.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index rose in June, but still remains in negative territory at -9, compared to May’s -13.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 3,000 to 271,000. The 4-week average fell 3,250 to 273,750. Continuing claims rose 22,000 to 2.247 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 1.7 points to 42.6 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $7.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.495 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $8.5 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $29.5 billion in the latest week.


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Because we (SCOTUS) want it that way

Apparently they’re no longer a judicial body which weighs the arguments, compares them against the law and finds for the intent of the Constitution.  Or said another way, the real Constitution is dead – long live the “living Constitution” that is full of goodies for which others pay.

How do I know this?  Easy:

Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the words must be understood as part of a larger statutory plan. “In this instance,” he wrote, “the context and structure of the act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase.”

Or said another way, to hell with law and the Constitution, the 6 of us have decided this is a good thing and we’ll read it any way we want too.  Pay up, suckers.

I saw where someone said the court finally moved left.

Folks the court moved left 10 years ago with Kelo.

It’s just taken a while for some people to realize that.

As the delegates left the building, a Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got?”

With no hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Not a democracy, not a democratic republic. But “a republic, if you can keep it.”

And, we couldn’t.

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 24 Jun 15

The final revision to 1st Quarter GDP was to a -0.2% annualized decline, while the GDP Price index was revised to 0.0%.

Corporate profits in the 1st Quarter were revised down slightly to $1.891 trillion, up a year-on-year 9.0% from the initial report of 9.2%.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 1.6% last week, with purchases up 1.0% and refis up 2.0%.


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Let’s dump the Confederate flag. And let’s also dump the “Congressional Black Caucus, La Raza, etc.

Victor Davis Hanson makes the point that what once began as an exceptional experiment in unity and was often dubbed “a melting pot”, has now become a grouping of humorless and easily offended factions always trying to claim the mantle of victimhood:

In the last half-century, Americans have increasingly tended to emphasize race and tribe in promoting “diversity,” rather than seeking to strengthen the more tenuous notion of unity with their fellow citizens. We have forgotten that human nature is fond of division and must work at setting aside superficial tribal affinities to unite on the basis of core values and ideas. Symbols, flags, organizations, and phrases that emphasize racial difference and ethnic pride are no longer just fossilized notions from the 1960s; they are growing fissures in the American mosaic that now threaten to split the country apart — fueling the suspicion of less liberal and more homogeneous nations that the great American experiment will finally unwind as expected.

Symbols, flags, organizations, and phrases that emphasize racial difference and ethnic pride are no longer just fossilized notions from the 1960s; they are growing fissures in the American mosaic that now threaten to split the country apart — fueling the suspicion of less liberal and more homogeneous nations that the great American experiment will finally unwind as expected.

So the answer?  Dump all the symbols and organizations that divide.  Drop the race exclusive organizations like La Raza and the Congressional Black Caucus.  Either that or keep your mouth shut when someone starts the National Association of White People.

You can’t have it both ways.  And remember something that is indeed unique about this land:

In an America that was originally founded by mostly Northern European immigrants, a Juan Lopez from Oaxaca is freely accepted as a U.S. citizen in a way that a white Bob Jones would never fully be embraced as a citizen of Mexico, a country whose constitution still expressly sets out racially chauvinistic guidelines that govern immigration law. Someone who appears African or European would have a hard time fully integrating as a citizen in Chinese, Korean, or Japanese society, in a way not true of Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese in America. The world assumes that in America a president, attorney general, secretary of state, or Supreme Court justice can be black; but it would be as surprised to find whites as high public officials in Zimbabwe as to find a black as prime minister or foreign minister in Sweden or Germany.

We are Americans and we come from all sorts of places and backgrounds, but when we come here we do indeed assimilate into the dominant culture?

Why?  Because it is that culture (which, by the way, is borrowed from some of the best of many different cultures) that has made this country both exceptional and great.  It’s is the “go to” place for those looking for a better life.  Our illegal immigration problem points to that.

But if the left has its way, we’ll all hyphenate our “american” identity, claim victim status and work to divide the polity into bickering hate groups who find everyone else (to include those back through the centuries) at fault for their status.

Were there wrongs committed in history against various races and ethnic groups?  Of course there were.  But we don’t live in that era.   What counts is where we are today.  If those wrongs no longer exist then any progressive worth their salt should be claiming … progress.  If you’re as old as I am, you don’t have to claim it – you’ve seen it up close and personal. But instead of touting the progress, progressives are the ones leading the charge to divide and weaken.  To make us all “victims”.

Quite being victims.  Victimhood is a choice. Grow a backbone and say no to the negativity of that nonsense. Drop the symbols and groups that emphasize race and/or victimhood.  Become Americans.  Work together.

See Charleston for how it is done.

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 23 Jun 15

The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index moved further into positive territory in June, rising 5 points to a reading of 6.

Led by a -49% drop in aircraft orders, May durable goods orders fell once again by -1.8% overall. April’s number was revised down to -1.5%. Ex-Transportation orders rose 0.5%.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales remain soft, rising to 1.6% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.1%.

The FHFA House Price Index rose 0.3% in April, with a year-on-year increase of 5.3%.

The PMI Manufacturing Index Flash fell -0.4 points in June, to 53.4.

New Home Sales continued April’s big gain, up 2.2% in May to a 546,000 annual rate. April’s gain was revised upwards to 8.1% to a 534,000 annual rate.


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How dare “black America” forgive so easily

Most of the country and the world have been touched by the forgiveness granted by the families of the victims of the Charleston church murders.  In an act that lives up to their faith, the families have forgiven the murderer and set the bar for civilized and compassionate behavior even that much higher.  And the city has rallied behind them, all races of the city, in an attempt to heal the wound the murderer opened.

But, of course, not everyone is happy about that, such as this creature:

If we really believe that black lives matter, we won’t devalue our reality and cheapen our forgiveness by giving it away so quickly and easily. Black people should learn to embrace our full range of human emotions, vocalize our rage, demand to be heard, and expect accountability. White America needs to earn our forgiveness, as we practice legitimate self-preservation.

Or, in other words … Baltimore.

Here’s a question for you, which event makes you think more about racial healing – Baltimore or Charleston?

Who has set the example for how the races should come together in the face of tragedy, even that driven by hate, and try to heal the community?

Baltimore or Charleston?

Right.

Given what Charleston has accomplished as a community, why should anyone listen to the race baiter above?

~McQ

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It is what it is and we should have no fear denouncing it

Dr. Ben Carson writes the following about the murderer of the 9 in Charleston:

Not everything is about race in this country. But when it is about race, then it just is. So when a guy who has been depicted wearing a jacket featuring an apartheid-era Rhodesian flag allegedly walks into a historic black church and guns down nine African-American worshipers at a Bible study meeting, common sense leads one to believe his motivations are based in racism. When the sole adult survivor of the ordeal reports that the killer shouted before opening fire, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go” — well, that sounds to me a lot like racial hatred.

Let’s call this sickness what it is, so we can get on with the healing. If this were a medical disease, and all the doctors recognized the symptoms but refused to make the diagnosis for fear of offending the patient, we could call it madness. But there are people who are claiming that they can lead this country who dare not call this tragedy an act of racism, a hate crime, for fear of offending a particular segment of the electorate.

It is and was an act of racism.  Anyone with a tepid IQ should know that and why anyone would deny it is beyond me.  Racism is not dead in this country.  Plenty of racists still exist.  But here’s a news flash … they’re not just confined to the white race.

That said, Carson is right.  Face what it is, call it what it is and then deal with the aftermath.  The fact that this yahoo was a racist, however, doesn’t allow anyone the broad brush they’d like to have and we’ve seen waved about in the wake of this tragedy.

Oh, and by the way, the citizens of Charleston, much better than our leadership (political, cultural and opinion leaders included) have shown the world how a town handles such a crime.  They know it was an act of racism.  They also know that not everyone is racist.  And they’re uniting not dividing. The families have forgiven the slug who killed their loved ones – something I’d likely have difficulty doing.  But when all is said and done, the citizens of Charleston are acting like the adults in this tragedy.  Too bad our president hasn’t acted that way.

~McQ

 

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