Saturday, August 27, 2016

How the FED is Hurting The Middle Class, Making The Rich Richer, And Protecting The President

I wish people paid more attention to economics. I still think Economics 101 should be a high school course, not college. But, be that as it may. Economics is complicated. Cause and effect might not be perfectly obvious. If it seems obvious, it is probably wrong.

Here is an example. To some, it seems obvious that, if taxes are cut, the government gets less money. Actually, when taxes are cut, business increases, profits go up, and tax revenue increases. This actually works in spite of denials by those on the left.

Here is another example. Some (liberals) believe that if interest rates are low it will improve the business climate. This is mostly not so. If the tax level is reasonable and people have confidence in their government, a short term lowering of the interest rates can give a shot in the arm to a lagging economy, ala John Maynard Keynes. But as a long term strategy, it does not work.

There are , however, a number of effects from long term low interest rates. The worst is that it picks the pocket of the middle class and the elderly. I saw a big sign in a bank window yesterday, touting a great interest rate on eleven month CDs. That rate was 1.25%. In other words, give the bank $1000.00 of your money for 11 months and they will give you back 1012.50. What a great investment.

Interest rates on regular savings, which the elderly and middle class rely on, runs around a quarter of a percent. That is the FED putting their hand in our pocket for all the wrong reasons.

With low interest rates stocks go up. That is where the rich store their money. Business is slow. The economy is not growing. So businesses cut back. They lay off people. Close unprofitable facilities. Sell off marginal lines. So those businesses remain profitable and remain a good investment, so the rich get richer.

So why does the FED do this in the first place? They do it to protect the administration. Our government is spending cash that they don't have like it is free. But it is not free. They have to pay interest on the national debt. If rates were high the payments would bankrupt the country. So they either lower interest rates or decrease spending. 

Since they seem to have about as much fiscal responsibility as a five year old in a candy store, they get the fed to lower interest rates. Now they are trapped. They have a weak economy, and low interest. To get the economy going they must raise rates. But if they do that, the stock market may crash. They are in a trap inside an economic bubble. 

In the meantime the poor, the middle class, the elderly, and the economy as a whole, suffer just to benefit politicians and the rich.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Pitiful Press

Do you read or watch what is referred to as the "main stream media" by the low information crowd. They are easily identified. They are the line of drab pencil pushers and excessively sleek talking heads that are lined up, with lips at full pucker, behind Barack Obama and who are transferring en masse, to line up behind Hillary Clinton, just waiting for the chance to slobber upon the royal butt. (Try to unsee that picture.)

The older members of this legacy media should know better. They were brought up in the business in a time when reporters put aside their personal leanings because the story was the important thing. Many old-timers, especially in the print media, had no more than a high school education. 

They learned their trade on the job. They tended to start at small local papers writing obits and covering city council meetings. But, thanks to tough editors, they sank or swam. Those that swam best moved upward. But then the educational system reared its often ugly head.

Suddenly, the news had to be examined through a prism. That prism is most definitely liberal and idealistic in almost all cases. Research and confrontation have been replaced with the acceptance of press releases and softball questions.

At one time in my past, I was campaign manager for a few political campaigns. In that position, I wrote many press releases. These releases went to two newspapers. The very small local paper printed them pretty much unedited. As long as grammar and spelling were good, you got printed. 

The very much larger area newspaper was more discerning. Sometimes your releases got spiked. Sometimes they were heavily edited. Once in a while they published you whole. That was a long time ago when the news attempted to report fairly.

Those days are gone. I hope not forever. Surprisingly, the fairest take that I get on American political news comes from foreign sources, followed by those that lean conservative. The liberal press plays so far to the left that they can't even see the middle of the road. And that is just pitiful.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Our President and, most recently, our Vice-President seem to feel that we need not have a "War on Terror" as terror is not an existential threat. I must assume, by that statement, that by "existential threat", they mean a threat that is capable of totally destroying the United States of America.

Such a definition leaves very few existential threats in the world. Two at the most. But such ideas are generated by very fuzzy thinking. Both our President and our Vice-President admit that terrorism can cause damage. Both agree that many American lives could be lost.

We all know that these things have already happened with tragic results. But, it seems, that we are to accept these losses as the normal course of history and not strike back. Using such logic, the police should ignore robbery, rape, and murder on the streets of our cities and concentrate on what? Drug cartels and organized crime. The FBI should ignore white collar crime and concentrate on counter-espionage?

We are all America. Every one of us and every one of our institutions. An attack on one is an attack on all. In today's world, we all face existential threats every day. Our administration, with it's globalist mind set, cannot recognize this. They see themselves as looking at the bigger picture. The problems of the "little people" are a mere bumps in the road to that great one world government that will exist only in their addled minds.

There is no bigger picture. Our existence is a patchwork of little pictures. The lives of us all intermixed and interactive. Someday there may be a world government. But not in this century or the next. The European Union was a start to make that happen. That is already falling apart.

The President swears to preserve, protect, and defend. This President has done a poor job of it because he has his mind set on grander issues. Grander issues are getting us, as a country, no place. In fact we are regressing.

If we want to keep our life style. If we want a great and successful America we must staunch the bleeding and turn things around. The sooner the better. Because we do face an existential threat, it just comes from within.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I Remember

 I remember when I could go fishing and catch a couple of fish for dinner without some loud mouth activist screaming at me.

I remember when hunting was an honorable pastime as it allowed folks to feed their families with good food at low cost.

I remember when farmers could farm their land and improve their property without the government getting in their face telling them what they must and must not do.

I remember when you could start your own business with a few dollars and a lot of guts.

I remember when your healthcare was between you and your doctor.

I remember when the government supported the family unit rather than financing it's dissolution.

I remember when Christianity was respected.

I remember when the government didn't support one religion over another. 

I remember when the Constitution was the law of the land not a pen and a phone.

I remember when the best politicians strove to be statesmen because they actually loved their country more than their party.

I remember when America wasn't a pushover.

I remember the good old days. May they rest in peace.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Loud, Shrill, Strident, and Angry

While I have been resting my back, although I am ashamed to admit it, I've watched some TV. News, of course. OK, also a show I've grown fond of called "How It's Made". But the news has been edifying.

All Hillary and Donald. All day. Every day. Week after week. I've discovered a few things that I didn't get by reading print news. 

If Donald has taken a "chill pill" before he speaks, he is at least tolerable. Being a rich grown up kid, born into a rich family, he never developed those mental filters that most have to control what comes out of their mouth. Most of us learn to keep things to themselves, lest they be seen as foolish and thoughtless. Not Mr. Trump, and that is his biggest weakness.

Hillary has one voice. It is loud, shrill, strident, and angry. It is also grating and annoying. She has no reason to be angry, she has risen to a level that she never earned by doing things that most of us would be jailed for.

Beyond all of that, she has her own version of the truth, which she proclaims loudly, shrilly, stridently, and angrily, in spite of overwhelming evidence against her self-serving version. Worse yet, the many members of her media support club go into a self brain washing mode to attest to her veracity.

For the past eight years we have received daily lectures on our country's failings and our failings as a people from a self aggrandized, self proclaimed genius who history will label a grand failure. I, for one, do not want to listen to even four years of shrill left wing diatribes from the woman who sold the Lincoln bedroom.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Cranky's Down

OK, I'm down but not out. My back went into spasm yesterday. So sitting and typing is painful. I'll do the best I can as I am able.

Thanks for  your patience, Cranky

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Infrastructure, Really?

Hillary Clinton has just gone into the dusty and moldy back of Barack Obama's political closet, hauled out, dusted off, and put new lipstick on Barack's infernal economic recovery plan. The talking points have gone out far and wide. Pundits and news writers have been lined up and given their assignments. Speeches have been scrivened. 

Good times will soon be rolling. Hillary has a shiny new economic plan. Look everyone. The genius of it all. Tax the rich. Rebuild the infrastructure. Give free college educations. Oh, and by the way, bring in more "undocumented non-citizens". Yup, that'll do it. Everyone sing "Happy Times are Here Again".

Understand this, all Democrat (liberal) ideas come from a socialist thought base. When their ideas fail (always), they believe that they have not gone socialist enough. Tax more. Regulate more. Make the government bigger. Put the country deeper in debt. "That will do it."

No, it won't. It never has. Yes, we must keep up our roads and bridges. But the folks who work on roads and bridges represent a very small part of our country's work force. They do, however represent a substantial percentage of union workers. Unions, the Democrats friends. Much of the money doled out for infrastructure ends up with large contractors who are also large contributors to, guess who. A great deal of this money just seems to vanish. no broad spectrum of jobs is created.

As far as free college goes, it seems the more federal money involved, the fancier the schools get and the higher the price tag goes. Politicians never do understand the law of unforseen results.

John Kennedy understood the benefit of lowering taxes, which he did with great results. Even Bill Clinton understood the benefits of smaller government. Today's Democrats consider those two successes as extraneous to economic reality when they are actually the heart of economic success. Hillary's plan never worked before. It won't work now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Once Again Into Unemployment

This is a redo of previous essays that I have posted on this subject. I am writing this not to correct previous mistakes, as redos often do. Due to the abundance of pasture splatter that is being boasted about in the liberal contingent of our body politic, I feel a need to post the truth.

The difference between my truth and their "truth", is that mine will stand up to examination. To begin with, we have not had a recovery. Eight years of Obama's genius financial stimulus and the one percent have gotten richer and the rest of us suffer.

 The administrations big brag is that the unemployment rate is 4.9%. A rate under 5% is considered "full employment". Does anyone really believe that we have full employment? I remember full employment under Reagan. Fast food franchises were helping fourteen and fifteen year olds get working papers so they had enough help to stay open. If you still worked for a franchise when you were seventeen, you were the manager. It is not anywhere like that today.

Politicians decide how the unemployment rate will be figured. It is figured in a way that makes the politicians look good. The problem is that people collecting unemployment are the core figure for calculating the unemployment rate. If a person has used up their eligibility, they are dropped out of the formula. In essence they no longer exist in the employment market.

If you were an engineer, making a big salary, and now your packing bags at the local super market, you are fully employed. Even if you are working part time, you are employed. So that 4.9% figure is not all they would have you believe it is.

There are three thing that put the economy in perspective. The "Participation Rate", average salaries, and the "Gross Domestic Product". The Participation Rate is the number of people in the labor force. Our population has grown by one hundred million people since the late 1970s. In spite of that, our work force participation is about the same. It reached a peak of about 67 million in 1998 and has declined ever since to around 62 million. That is hardly a healthy economy.

In that same period of time, since 1998, average middle class salaries have fallen by ten percent. Again, not a healthy sign. But the greatest flag that our economy is still dragging along the bottom of "Dismal Swamp" is the GDP. When we are prospering, the GDP is 4 to 5 percent. The last three quarters have been .9, .8, and 1.2 percent. Truly dismal.

So when the administration or candidates supported by the administration come on TV and brag about the economy and their marvelous recovery, remember that old adage. "Figures don't lie, but politicians always do." Or something like that.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Fear Of Winning

The Republican party, for some reason, seems to have a collective fear of winning the Presidency of the United States. They seem to be more comfortable as the opposition. They love running the House of Representatives. They even enjoy an occasional foray into running the Senate. 

They have a "stay around long enough and you will get your turn" attitude about coming up with a candidate. Most, just don't show the fire needed to win the top slot. Nixon did. Reagan did. But Ford, Dole, McCain, and Romney, fine men all, but not hungry enough nor driven enough. Both Bushes won, but look who they defeated. W barely beat Al Gore who was trying to pass for human. HW won on two silly slogans. "A thousand points of light", whatever that means and "Read my lips, no new taxes".

HW failed on the tax promise and got soundly beaten by a "good ole boy" with a testosterone problem. W beat the mannequin, and proceeded to make more mis-steps than is good for a President. Both men love their country but were inept.

Because of all of this, the conservatives in fly-over-country are up in arms. They took the Republican mold for selecting a candidate and threw it up against the wall leaving it forever shattered. In doing this, they threw out some really good candidates and some OK candidates and picked the one farthest away from previous norms.

By doing this, and I can understand why they did, they have made this election one that, no matter who wins, America loses. We now have the two worst candidates that we could possibly have. It does not bode well for the next four to eight years. And beyond that, the next three decades that will be needed to clean up the mess.

All of this because the Republicans have a fear of winning.

Friday, August 5, 2016

None Of The Above

If we were ever in need of a "None of the Above" option on the presidential ballot, this is the time. Then, one might ask: "Don't we need a President? Doesn't there have to be a hand steering the Ship of State?"

Yes, we need a President. And I have a solution. We have a computer randomly pick a city, town, village, or burg in the United States. Then someone, blindfolded, opens the phone book for that locality to a random page. Then another person throws a dart. The name that is hit is our new President for four years.

One might ask: "Isn't that dangerous? Might we not get someone unqualified?" My answer is, we can't do much worse than what we have right now.

We have an elderly white woman with health issues, integrity issues, and husband issues. Beyond that she is as crooked as a hound dogs hind leg. She panders to any group that will vote liberal and is harsh, to put the best face on it, to underlings. Even worse, she believes that normal rules and laws do not apply to her, for she is special.

On the other side, we have a rumpled old white man, who is brash, loud, and seems to take pleasure in making people despise him. Like our present President, he doesn't know that he doesn't know what he doesn't know. That my friends is the definition of a fool. He may be a smart fool, but a fool none the less.

Mr. Trump actually has two things going for him. He seems to truly love America and he seems not to be possessed of the throat cutting avariciousness of his opposition.

It saddens me, that at a time when our country needs a great leader, we bypassed good people and got down to scraping the bottom of the barrel. Who knows, maybe Trump will win and be carried off by space aliens allowing Mike Pence to take over. One can only dream.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Silence Is Golden

"Silence is golden" is an old saw that seems to be lost in the general clamor. Also, Abraham Lincoln once said,"It is better to be silent and thought to be a fool than to speak out and remove all doubts".

I can understand people who have an impulsive personality. I have, from time to time, been accused of that failing myself. But Donald Trump takes impulsiveness beyond all limits, reasonable or unreasonable.

He claims he wants to be President. He claims that he has the skill set. What he cannot claim is a fitting temperament. He claims to be a counter-puncher. That only means one thing. He is thin skinned and quick to take offence. He strikes out and proves himself the fool.

We have had almost eight years of a thin skinned, verbose, and angry President. The American people want someone of a calmer more measured demeanor. That does not mean weak and uninvolved. It means thoughtful in plans and measured in words. It means using surrogates to handle the dirty work. The President, in a perfect world, should be like Caesars wife, above reproach.

Mr. Trump has a couple of sons that seem intelligent and dedicated. Can they not sit him down and have an intervention. Somehow someone needs to rein the candidate in. He may bask in all the attention and controversy. All of this may stoke up the passions of his most rabid followers. They will not win the election for him.

There is a great mass of Americans out there who are reasonable and thoughtful people. They want a presidential President. Right now, neither candidate is fulfilling that dream. If people turn away from Trump, as they may well do, because of his antics, he is handing the Presidency to Hillary Clinton. That would be a true American tragedy.