Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chart Rundown 10/29/11

This is going to be short and sweet as I will be revamping my blogs. Yes, again. :)  At any rate, I will be moving everything to WordPress, I believe. And I am now planning to start from scratch with past blogs which haven't been read anyway, posted if they are relevant and if I enjoy re-editing them. So, all this stuff will disappear.

So, short and sweet. Here are two charts that tell the story. How well are we doing?  I have been obsessed with economics from the beginning of this awful thing. But one thing I can truly be proud of saying long ago, this is a paradigm shift.

Look, the economy is back, well, to what it was just before we had those minor problems with bank malfeasance.

However, this rebound in GDP comes with a figure of 8 million people still unemployed. We are outputting goods and services at the rate of 2007, after 4 lost years, and we are putting out all this production with 8 million fewer people. Actually, that is wrong 8 million fewer Americans. Job outsourcing continues.

And THE chart, the real chart, that deserves to be emblazoned on every billboard that is blank from lack of advertisers is this one:

Jobless recovery. Them: doing fine. Us: not so good.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Black Casino Goers are "Aborigines" - AL Senate sponsor of Alabama's Immigration Law

I really need to take a shower after documenting this filth. Judge Myron Thompson basically cofirms that Senator Beason is a racist in open court in this:

Then from Wikipedia:

Speaking on illegal immigration at a 2011 Cullman County Republican fundraiser, Senator Beason urged Republicans to "do what has to be done" and "empty the clip" of their guns into illegal immigrants.[8][9] Beason urged fellow Republicans to "solve the problem" before immigrants could have children because "[when immigrant] children grow up and get the chance to vote, they vote for Democrats.”[9] This remark brought criticism towards Beason as the comments were made in the wake of the shooting of United States U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords outside of Tucson, Arizona a month earlier. Shortly after the comment was published his office was flooded with angry calls denouncing the remark. He later apologized stating, "he was not urging violence against immigrants, but using an analogy."[10]
Many speculate that Beason may challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Representative Spencer Bachus in a 2012 primary for Alabama's 6th congressional district. Others, closer to him, speculate he may run for Governor in 2014 or 2018.[11]

Yes it is all embedded in filthy racism. Now for that shower.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mad Money

Jim Cramer, from the financial show Mad Money, has been on CNBC radio in the morning when I come to work. It adds a little knowledge to the mix which often seems like a discussion between a group of the Fox friends minus much of the bias. That said, there is still plenty of bias. The talk this morning in my 15 minute commute was of Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan. I believe the concept is that we start a national sales tax of 9 percent and the lower income tax and corporate tax to 9 percent. I only have to be mildly correct to know that a 9 percent sales tax would hit everyone who purchases more, rather than plays with their money like the rich. Sales taxes are always regressive and would obviously benefit the rich considerably, who even after all the generous income tax breaks they get, pay less than us, but more than 9 percent. And of course the rich purchase less things so they wouldn't be bothered much by the sales tax. Again, I don't know about the details but would they pay a 9 percent capital gains tax as well?

The interesting thing this morning about the discussion was that Jim Cramer said that Cain was at least playing up to the rich constuency of all Repupblican candidates but he had learned when he studied law in law school and had mainly studied tax law, that a sales tax was a regressive tax.

I often marvel every morning about how strange it is that these financial people have the jobs they do with their lack of knowledge, but Jim Cramer had the knowledge. Of course, anyone who took an introductory economics course of any kind should have this knowledge of sales taxes being regressive. The thing I find fascinating is that Jim Cramer had to pull out his educational credentials to present this obvious fact to his colleagues. In other words, he was warning them not to argue against him because he knew. But the deal is every one of them should know, it is their job to know things like that.

I truly do not have the credentials they do and barely understand the concept of standard deviations and the like, and certainly not how it applies to a certain stock. They are all very smart, but sometimes surprisingly dumb. You see, there is a further problem with Cains concept of taxes that wasn't even mentioned as the CNBC folks mulled it over. The problem right now is income inequality. That much is obvious and being accepted more and more. This income inequality causes a lack in demand, when added to our monumental problems, won't let us crawl our way out of the unemployment problem we have. The simple easy to understand problem with Cains tax structure is that it would move the burden of taxes onto consumption. In other words, people would be taxed if they spent money. DEMAND would be taxed heavily. Unless Cain has an entirely new economic system planned other than the capitalistic one we use now, this would be devastating to an economy already short on demand.

Cain's tax plan is a nightmare on a purely economic basis.

But really, I don't know, I didn't study tax law in college.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chart Rundown – 10/11/11

  (I’m used to posting charts one at a time, but have decided it is just too time consuming. So…)

This is the latest update of the chart showing the unemployment trend like no other chart can. This is unsustainable for our country. And jobs bills? Don't bet on that one.

This is the average duration of unemployment or how long people remain unemployed:

The gray areas are the post WWII recessions. The average unemployed person has been out of a job for over 40 weeks and the trend is straight up. There is no recession or post-recession period that comes close to this.

This next chart also shows the difference in the previous recessionary periods and this one:

I have posted this one over and over, the trend doesn't seem to change significantly. This is really rediculously awful because there needs to be a drastic increase here. This chart shows how fundamentally different our problem is currently from what it was in other recessions. It shows that the current recession is most similar to one other recession (that was not so severe but was just as long lasting.) This was the 2001 recession which was the most recent one on the chart besides our own. I have pointed this out each time this chart comes out because the lesson that seems obvious to me is that our economy seems fundamentally different in the more recent recessions. This holds true even in the 1990 recession, the next most recent. The fact that the red line is so far below the other lines and doesn’t seem to be improving enough to be significant is the reason for the drastic look of the first chart. We’re down and not going up, and likely headed into a “double dip.” This is just considering unemployment; many large companies are making record profits with minimum tax. Without considering unemployment as a factor there isn’t even such a thing as a recession.
In my mind, the reason things are now different than in previous recession or post recessionary periods of unemployment is the historical quick recoveries. The fact that our recovery isn’t even kicking in after almost a trillion dollars in stimulus is that a systemic problem is now playing itself out. I think that is a foregone conclusion I also believe personally that this problem involves but is not limited to the decimation of our manufacturing base over time and the outsourcing of jobs by still extant larger companies to other countries. Cheap labor is the competitive edge for companies and they don’t find it here in the USA. They are not patriotic enough to, by themselves, begin efforts to make American workers preferential over their cheap foreign labor making them so much money.
Well, that was plenty on that. I feel just slightly terrified. :) But just one more to illustrate the "double dip" which shows up obviously in house prices:

chart of the day, case-shiller july 2011

How about something interesting but not so serious? Check out the following chart of the revenue Apple is making just from iPhone. If you know that iPhone might be stalling a bit when compared to phones operating on Google’s Android, and that Android is gaining market share, this could be a little bit of a concern for Apple. Apple is on top of the world but is highly vulnerable if they do not keep iPhones cheap enough and good enough, or should I say great enough in Apple’s case. There may be no danger here but Apple's apples (umm eggs) are mainly in one basket, the iPhone.

The next chart shows how Apple is making its iPhones cheap enough while they are obviously great enough:

Apple also achieves a greater dollar subsidy from its carrier partners for iPhone purchases. The 16GB iPhone 4S subsidy is estimated to be $450, while most competing devices are estimated to garner less than $350.”
So carriers are willing to subsidize iPhones on a higher level for some reason. Let’s just say iPhones are great and in demand. But what I don’t understand about the statistics is whether carriers will pass this extra cost on to iPhone users or all users in general. At any rate, let’s just assume ignorance on my part and my unwillingness to read past the chart part of the article. :) Anyway, Apple is getting real money for their equipment.
This next chart shows Android growing in market share as an Operating System while Apple holds its own and other OS fall by the wayside. Basically Apple sells equipment and makes a pretty penny, Google sells an OS, so in some ways it is the same historical battle carried on with Microsoft. I could be wrong, but that is the way I understand it. Anyway, the next chart shows market share of OS and recent trends.

And here is a chart I absolutely love and find so appropriate:

Regardless of what happens in the future, Steve Jobs saw this happen in his lifetime.
Warning: this is my own commentary to go along with these charts so take this with quite a few grains of salt. I have read no expert analysis to know what I am talking about and am just making my own logical inferences from charts which to me are as fun as figuring out a new level of Angry Birds.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I have been thinking and blogging for a while about about income inequality and the ransacking of our nation by the mortgage lenders. How much longer could this tragedy go on without people noticing? 

Apparently, they noticed:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Slip Slidin' Away - Paul Simon

Slip slidin' away
Slip slidin' away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you're slip slidin' away

I know a man
He came from my home town
He wore his passion for his woman
Like a thorny crown
He said Dolores
I live in fear
My love for you's so overpowering
I'm afraid that I will disappear

I know a woman
Became a wife
These are the very words she uses
To describe her life
She said a good day
Ain't got no rain
She said a bad day's when I lie in bed
And think of things that might have been

And I know a father
Who had a son
He longed to tell him all the reasons
For the things he'd done
He came a long way
Just to explain
He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping
Then he turned around and headed home again

God only knows
God makes his plan
The information's unavailable
To the mortal man
We're working our jobs
Collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway
When in fact we're slip slidin' away

Slip slidin' away
Slip slidin' away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you're slip slidin' away

Monday, October 3, 2011

Consumer Sentiment Ahead of Christmas

Rut Row Rorge

Immigration law effects- video- Baldwin County:

Immigration law worries area farmers:

You gotta love the opening of this news story saying that, gosh, WE might pay higher prices for LOCAL produce, as if that were somehow the problem we should be concerned about. No mention of how the farmers will survive while we and citizens of other states, of course, will simply chow down on produce from Peru, or irony of ironies, Mexico.

Flying to My Home - Paul McCartney

Flying to My Home - Paul McCartney

The sun is fading in the west
Out where the cattle roam
I'm like a bird at the end of the day
Flying to my home
I'm flying to my home sweet majesty
I'm flying to my home

The sky is like a painted flag
Above a sea of chrome
I've got a woman living in my life
Living in my home
I'm flying to my home sweet majesty
I'm flying to my home

I haven't been back for so long
I don't know if I'm going to recognise it
They gave the old place a new face
And I'm going to take some time
To size the situation up

I haven't been back for so long
I don't know if I'm going to recognise it
They gave the old place a new face
And I'm going to take some time
To size the situation up

The sun is fading in the west
Out where the cattle roam
I've got a woman living in my life
Living in my home
I'm flying to my home sweet majesty
I'm flying to my home...

     I am always happy to see Linda in a video.these days. I miss her. You can feel that love in the lyrics and see that love in the video. Nice.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

While I was away at play... home deteriorated.

Christian Science Monitor:

San Francisco Chronicle: 

I'm starting to wonder about things like poisoning trees. That really put the cap on things for me for some reason. It was happiness for the people around me for a great accomplishment, then hate filled opposition. And I'm wondering in general about people hating each other over, yes, particularly sports but also anything else that makes them feel a part of a group that needs to hate another group. I'm wondering about politicians representing only the rich, who use hate filled issues like this immigration law to divide us from our best interests. It has been ever so... And I'm wondering about the investment banks trying to absolve themselves with a measly $25 billion from crimes that would put any of the rest of us in jail. There is one particular thing that has happened in the last few days that makes all of this hit home like a ton of bricks.

I'm old and I'm tired.

I'll try to lighten up but... it doesn't help. Things just get worse.