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Signs of Life in Manufacturing April 7, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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Manufacturing jobs took a real beating in the recession, and despite President Obama’s promise to restore 1 million manufacturing jobs within 4 years (September 2012 – September 2016), by the time Trump was elected they had only managed to restore 371K.

Since Trump’s election, however, the picture has become far rosier. We’ve added 67K manufacturing jobs in the past 4 months. Voila:


[Trump’s data is in tasteless gold, while Obama’s data is in fanciful rainbow.]

Even at that pace, you can’t get to a million jobs in 4 years ==> it would only be about 800K jobs.

But at least it’s increasing at a healthy rate.

Unemployment Situation: April 2017 Report April 7, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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Last month’s plot of the employment situation left me cautiously optimistic. This month’s BLS numbers are leaving me with a bit less caution and a bit more optimism.



That’s turning into a pretty nice little uptick.

Fondled by the TSA April 3, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

Flew out of the Denver airport this morning, but as I was making my way through security, I somehow got gifted with the random patdown. Now, I’d heard that they were getting more aggressive with the patdowns, but the level of aggression came as quite a surprise.

I can safely say that I’ve never before had a man touch me like that TSA agent touched me.

I can understand getting patted down along the hips and between the legs. Even up into the crevices of the crotchal region. But actually checking out the male particulars? Is that really an area where weapons that might escape detection by x-rays are likely to be hidden?

Unpleasant? Unsavory? UnAmerican?

Oh yes.

And probably completely useless as well.

Real Life Has Intruded On My Blogging Time April 2, 2017

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Sorry to say that I’ve been cramming for a business trip for the past week, and I’ll be out most of the coming week on the trip itself.

So, unless my able but evanescent cobloggers step up, ummmm. . . . talk amongst yourselves?

Hey Fox Business, It Only Seems Like Obama Was in Office for 9 Years March 30, 2017

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Fox Business News has an article titled “Obama’s Final Economic Record Not Great,” which isn’t really news, but it’s always nice to hear that other people have noticed. Sadly though, the article was a bit flawed, containing both a hit and a miss. First the hit:

The U.S. economy may have grown faster than expected in the final three months of the year, at a pace of 2.1%, but that won’t do much to improve President Obama’s economic legacy. Including the latest Commerce Department figure, the average GDP growth rate during his tenure was about 1.5%. The only president with a worse economic record since 1930 is Herbert Hoover.

Yup, no problem there. But then the author whiffs it:

It’s no secret Obama inherited a distressed economy. In December 2007, just two months before Obama officially took office, the Great Recession officially began and the U.S. economy shrank at a rate of 0.3%. During the recession, which ended in June 2009 according to economists, unemployment rates reached as high as 10%.

Seeing as President Obama didn’t take office until January 2009, the Great Recession had been wreaking havoc for 14 months before he took office. It ended 5 months later, so President Obama only presided over the last quarter of it. As we’ve pointed out at this very site, the recovery began before President Obama began his errant economic fumbling.

Getting Your Exercise Ball Out From Underfoot March 29, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

We used to have an exercise ball, but it was underused and always in the way. Finally gave it to our local charity. But if I’d seen this post a few years ago, we’d probably still have it.

Trust the Japanese to figure out how to conveniently store an exercise ball:


Out of the way, but easy to get to every other year when the desire to exercise overwhelms you.

Expect the Unexpected March 28, 2017

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Remember back in the Obama era when we used to make fun of the media whenever we got bad economic news, and they would always say “unexpectedly?” Things are a little different now:

U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Surges to a 16-Year High

Not Impressed With Tax Payments of Illegal Immigrants March 28, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

Same sort of analysis as last post.

A cute young illegal immigrant posted this to Facebook:


Note, of course, that she doesn’t mention what she can benefit from:

  • DREAM Scholarships (up to $25K for a bachelors, or up to $80K in certain states)
  • In-state tuition (they charge $10.6K for in-state, and $26.5K for out-of-state)
  • Financial aid from the college or university
  • K-12 Schooling/School lunch & breakfast programs
  • Emergency medical care

But hey, she’s contributing the tax base, right? CNN is quick to point out that a recent study showed that illegal immigrants pay almost $12 billion in taxes per year. Count those smackers, racist trogolodytes!! But since there are around 12 million illegals (give or take a million), that’s only about $1000/illegal.

But taxpayers as a whole paid $1.5 trillion last year. That’s about $4300/person. If we just eliminated the all thetax contributions of the illegals, it would decrease tax revenues by a mere 0.8%.

So, while I’m somewhat gratified that Ms. Belen tried to follow the law as much as she was able, the contribution of she and her fellows is paltry in total, and disproportionately small per capita.

AP Analysis Shows No Economic Impact of Bathroom Bill on North Carolina March 27, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

That is not, of course, the way they present it. Anyway, the AP has a terrifying report on the devastating damage to the North Carolina economy as a result of keeping bathrooms the way they have always been:

‘Bathroom bill’ to cost North Carolina $3.76B, report says

Despite Republican assurances that North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” isn’t hurting the economy, the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years, according to an Associated Press analysis.

That sounds pretty bad, but . . . hey, wait a minute.

$3.76 billion over 12 years is $313 million/year. Is that a lot?

Not really:

HB2 supporters say its costs have been tiny compared with an economy estimated at more than $500 billion a year, roughly the size of Sweden’s.

So $313 million out of $500 billion is: . . . . . 0.06%.

What they should have asked is how much it cost Paypal to change its plans. That might have been interesting.

Because there’s no story so far as North Carolina’s economy is concerned.

The Dollar Takes a Beating March 27, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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The value of the dollar soared after Trump’s election, but has lost much of that gain since. Why? Well, first take a look at the federal rate for the past 10 years:


So the first thing you notice is that the Fed was essentially unable to raise the rate for the entirety of Obama’s inglorious reign (they changed it once: from 0.25% to 0.5% at the end of 2015). They talked about raising on numerous occasions, but were never able to pull the trigger, for fear of killing off our already-anemic recovery.

Until Trump, when they were able to raise it twice

What does this have to do with the value of the dollar? Well, Zero Hedge put up this chart today, which I think tells the story pretty effectively:


You see the post-election boom, and then a jump at the first rate hike due to excitement over the benefits of higher interest rates to the banking/finance industries. But then reality for the rest of the world sets in, and the dollar starts sliding.

Stock markets are taking a big hit as well, since the market’s confidence in Trump’s ability to stimulate economic growth have eroded after the Obamacare modification debacle.

I think the Fed may have been a bit aggressive, and it would sure be nice if Congress would restore the wind under the president’s wings.

Because I’m kind of fond of prosperity.


CNN Devolves March 22, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

If you haven’t seen this yet, it’ll be your first opportunity to gape in awe at how far CNN (once the gem of news media) has fallen:


Sniper Fashion March 21, 2017

Posted by geoff in Fashion.

You all are so lucky, because Yes! It’s time for another fashion post!!

Today we have a fashion statement reminiscent of Tom Berenger in Sniper. Potentially unisex (if the gents don’t mind showing a little leg)?

Get close to your target and celebrate haute couteur at the same time! I present you the the grassy smocky hoody thing!