Recent comments

  • although I get why they would do that for the definition of non-durable. I didn't know that either.

    Reply to: ISM Index Shows a Barely Breathing Manufacturing Sector, PMI 50.2%   12 hours 41 min ago
  • ya learn something new everyday...i talked to the Census Bureau this morning, and they tell me they do not collect data on new orders for non durable goods, because of the quick turnaround time...hence, the new factory orders reported monthly are equal to new orders of durable goods plus shipments of non-durable goods...

    Reply to: ISM Index Shows a Barely Breathing Manufacturing Sector, PMI 50.2%   19 hours 57 min ago
  • The number of teachers and education staff fell dramatically during the recession, and has failed to get anywhere near its pre-recession level, let alone the level that would be required to keep up with an expanding student population.

    Public education jobs are 236,000 less than they were seven years ago. For the number of public education jobs that should have been created just to keep up with enrollment, we are currently experiencing a 410,000 job shortfall in public education.

    * Check out tier inter-active chart:


    Some teachers are resisting union endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president. Many are saying no — or at least, not yet — and calling upon their state leaders to resist a move by the president of the union representing 3 million teachers to endorse Clinton. The pressure has been intense enough to prompt some notable defections in the National Education Assn.

    Reply to: Is the Government Jackboot on your Neck?   2 days 12 hours ago
  • when i started to write about that report, i noticed that the line listing the totals for new orders for non-durable goods and shipments of non-durable goods were identical, ie, all the amounts for June, July, August and year to date were identical, as were the percentage changes shown...those numbers are then carried through to the totals...i downloaded the excel files for both and they also showed non-durable data for shipments and new orders to be identical...i called the Census bureau before 5PM on Friday and left a message notifying them of this error, but as of this writing on Saturday it has not been corrected...i suspect the error is with the new orders, but it’s hard to tell, since the monthly $ difference between orders and shipments has been less than 1% (0.6% in July)...
    if the error is in new orders as i suspect, then unfilled orders would be screwed too...good thing the Fed and the markets had other bad data that overshadowed this...

    Reply to: ISM Index Shows a Barely Breathing Manufacturing Sector, PMI 50.2%   2 days 18 hours ago
  • That's really bad news so you can tell, another hint. Overall manufactured goods new orders down -1.7%

    Shipments follow new orders but for August, and this is bad, -0.2% for durable goods and for all manufacturing, down -0.7%. Also this is a pattern.

    Scary bad news.

    Reply to: ISM Index Shows a Barely Breathing Manufacturing Sector, PMI 50.2%   3 days 8 hours ago
  • new orders for non-durable goods are the same numbers as shipments:

    meanwhile, everyone reported on both as if the totals were accurate...

    Reply to: ISM Index Shows a Barely Breathing Manufacturing Sector, PMI 50.2%   3 days 12 hours ago
  • the metric tracked here is quite a bit different than the labor department stats, in that it's part of the nation income and product accounts data, and that it considers income from all sources...for instance, wages and salaries were just $7,831.1 billion of the $15,403.8 annualized national income rate for August...other contributors to this national personal income total include interest and dividends, transfer payments like unemployment comp & social security, proprietors' income, rental income, etc...since there's only one aggregage figure, there's no median or average...

    Reply to: August Personal Income up 0.3%; PCE on Track to Add 2.03 Percentage Points to GDP   3 days 21 hours ago
  • The New Normal isn't new because the Old Normal wasn't normal,
    Data indicates that from 1955 to 2006 we grew at 3.5%.
    But WW2 meant we had little competition until 1970
    then OPEC hit and Japan began the rise of East Asia.
    US switched to services and companies were became
    much more efficient, moved overseas and as a result
    wages  started downward. Now the Internet is making
    life much better but little shows up in GDP. In 1960
    only the top 1% could afford some of what I get from my
    Samsung and some I get didn't exist. Our wellbeing
    is so much better than it was 50 years ago but CNN
    and the Weather Channel sell fear and unrest.

    Reply to: Tax Cuts don't create Jobs and "Growth" doesn't raise Wages   4 days 5 hours ago
  • I thought 21.8 percent was a bit much, but if you do the math, it is about right. It is just a bit less than the increase in pay you would get if you went from paying 39.6% federal tax to 25% federal tax.

    That could pretty easily result in reduced federal tax revenues.

    I would like to see the 12 trillion spelled out, to see if that is an additional 12T, or 12T including current deficit projections, but either way, that isn't a very good plan.

    I suppose at this point, Donald is saying stupid stuff to appeal to the money side of the republican machine. On the other hand, he might actually think this is a good plan. More likely, it is a starting point (in his mind) for potential negotiations on changes to the tax code.

    However, if he actually fixed the surplus labor/cheap imports problems, the income inequality problems would begin to right themselves.

    I had a great idea for a proposed tax scheme, which would balance the budget by raising taxes on wealth and large incomes. But as I was about to explain it, I remembered a story, to wit:

    LONG ago, the mice had a general council to consider what measures they could take to escape the depredations of their common enemy, the Cat.
    Some said this, and some said that; but at last a young mouse got up and said he had a proposal to make, which he thought would meet the case.

    “You will all agree,” said he, “that our chief danger consists in the sly and treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches us. Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape from her.

    I venture, therefore, to propose that a small bell be procured, and attached by a ribbon 'round the neck of the Cat. By this means we should always know when she was about, and could easily retire while she was in the neighborhood.”

    This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got up and said: “That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?” The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke. Then the old mouse said:



    Reply to: Jeb Bush: "Of course the rich will get richer..."   4 days 14 hours ago
  • A little too wonkish for me but, do earnings in the top quintile skew these numbers — just like "average" wages and "median" wages?

    Median usual weekly real earnings: Wage and salary workers: 16 years and over

    Social Security Wage Statistics

    Reply to: August Personal Income up 0.3%; PCE on Track to Add 2.03 Percentage Points to GDP   4 days 15 hours ago
  • That's going to grab the Fed's attention. That's amazingly low. Without food and energy it increased 0.1% and that is very low. They already delayed due to deflation worries and global events, this is just going to add to the delay on any rate increase.

    Reply to: August Personal Income up 0.3%; PCE on Track to Add 2.03 Percentage Points to GDP   5 days 5 hours ago
  • For individuals, Trump's plan would:

    • Reduce the top income tax rate on wages from 39.6% to 25% (and lowers the tax rate for low-income people who already wouldn't owe taxes because of the personal exemption.)
    • Reduce the tax rate on capital gains for multi-billionaires from 23.8% to 20% (by eliminating the 3.8% surtax provided by Obamacare to expand Medicaid for poor people.)
    • Entirely eliminates the estate tax for the trust-fund babies of dead multi-billionaires.

    The only tax that goes up for the rich --> Trump's plan would tax " carried interest" at ordinary income tax rates ( instead of capital gains and dividends tax rates). This means that the tax rate that hedge fund managers and private equity investors like Mitt Romney have long enjoyed would be taxed as regular wages. But under Trump's plan, it would only be a slightly more:

    Under Trump's tax plan, the top income tax rate for regular wages would be 25%, and capital gains are currently taxed at 23.8% — so Mitt need not worry. All other taxes on the rich go down.

    For businesses that generate most of the capital gains --> Trump's plan reduces the tax on corporations and pass-through businesses from 35 percent to 15 percent, preserves the foreign tax credit, and provides a one-time repatriation tax of 10 percent on all foreign profits currently deferred.

    The conservative Tax Foundation found that Trump's plan would boost the incomes of the top 1 percent of taxpayers by 21.8 percent, while those of the lowest-income Americans would rise by only 1.4 percent. The national debt, meanwhile, would jump by $12 trillion over the next decade.

    Reply to: Jeb Bush: "Of course the rich will get richer..."   5 days 18 hours ago
  • i cover oil imports every week, Bud; we're still importing 40% of our needs and 6 weeks ago we saw the greatest excess of crude and products imports over exports in a year...the reason the oil industry wants to export crude, even though we're importing so much, is simple; international oil prices have been running between $5 and $10 a barrel more than US oil if they're able to sell their crude overseas (Canada and Mexico are exempt from the ban), US prices for oil will quickly jump to the international price, and we'll be paying 10% to 20% more for our oil products than we otherwise would if our market remained protected..



    Reply to: Jeb Bush: "Of course the rich will get richer..."   6 days 13 hours ago
  • As a rough idea, the cost of gasoline can be estimated from the price of oil as follows:

    Take the $/barrel for oil (Brent sweet crude)
    Divide by 30
    Add 50 cents to the answer.
    That is the cost for a gallon of gasoline.

    So with Oil at $45/bbl, gasoline should be $2/gallon.
    Currently our prices are a bit high in the upper Midwest, but that is likely due to refinery issues in Indiana.

    That is a rough empirical formula, but it is close enough for discussion purposes. I would like to see an accurate regression equation, as that one I worked out in my head one day while filling the tank of my '86 Dodge Power Wagon. (It gives you time to think)

    So for gasoline to reach $7/gallon, the price of crude would need to be roughly $195/bbl. Since the likely effect of adding more supply to the world market would be to further lower prices, it seems unlikely that we will see $7.00 gas any time soon, unless we raise gasoline taxes significantly.

    Not a great fan of exporting oil, but the only scenario for gasoline to get to $7/gallon in the next decade would be either dramatic increase in demand (global industrial growth) or significant curtailment of supply. Perhaps military issues interfering with oil supply from the Middle East, or legislative activities in the west making extraction of oil dramatically more expensive, or stopping it altogether.

    One other possibility would be the Saudis run out of oil - most people I know in the oil industry were really surprised they could bring the price down as dramatically as they did, as there were doubts about their production capacity. Their goal in doing so was probably to discourage further development of US oil resources, so that they could maintain the leverage they have as the big producer, while they hope that the US environmentalists would be able to make curtailment of US development permanent.

    I'm still hoping for a technological solution, though fuel cells don't seem to be it, and the so-called electrics are just coal burners.

    Maybe someday we will have a Mr. Fusion in the center console, but even then "The DeLorean runs on gasoline."

    Reply to: Jeb Bush: "Of course the rich will get richer..."   6 days 14 hours ago
  • The tax code, especially the corporate tax code, is the worst place for corruption. The mega rich fund campaigns and are their pals, so no surprise they come up with a way to get even more money for themselves and suck the blood (there is no blood left) out of the middle class.

    Reply to: Jeb Bush: "Of course the rich will get richer..."   6 days 15 hours ago
  • If you define "rich" as those whose income provides them with more than they need to meet their living expenses (including savings identified for specific lifestyle purchases like housing, health care, retirement, education), then it is true that the only people who accumulate wealth are those who are "rich".

    The rest of us get by, we manage to limit our consumption to our available revenue stream. At the same time, our manner of living is defined by the money we can get.

    Stated in another way, if a significant increase in revenue or net worth would not appreciably change how you live, then you qualify as rich. I realize that sort of definition is more challenging for statisticians, as it has a behavioral aspect to it. My brother who lives in a rooming house may qualify as rich, while an MLB player who blows his pay on everything fast may not.

    However, it illuminates the idea that the rich get richer - if you have more income than you need to support your manner of living, your wealth tends to accumulate.

    Obviously, if you have a LOT more, and you can afford to hire smart people to manage your money, and influence governments to favor you, then it grows faster.

    That said, I don't think most people in the bottom 95% are thinking about getting rich. They are thinking about getting more income, so they can spend it on things they would like to include in their lifestyle.

    I am not sure that taxes are the best way of restoring the balance of income, however. While taxes might help, using taxes in this way would bring to bear the efficiency of government in deciding who was deserving. And the rich people would, of course, hire smart people to help them get the most of the money back again pretty quickly.

    The twin pillars of the disembowelment of the American economy have been

    Lowering of trade barriers of all sorts, so goods can be made wherever labor is cheapest, and sold anywhere in the world. While this lowers the cost of goods, and sometimes the price, it lowers purchasing power for American workers. Most of the benefit goes to those wealthy enough to engage in multinational trade.

    Importing workers from everywhere in the world, legally and illegally, to lower the cost of labor for those things which cannot reasonably be done a long way away, such as housing construction, health care, janitorial services, etc. This surplus drives down the cost of labor across the board, as it increases the supply substantially.

    So while taxes may be a relatively quick fix, I would support a candidate who would deal with these problems at their root - which is by curtailing the supply of low cost labor. This will raise real income.

    I'm not enough of an economist to understand the secondary effects and unintended consequences of such a change. I would expect the wealthy to fight to maintain their revenue stream. It does appear that The Donald sort of agrees with my perspective, and that gives me pause...

    Reply to: Jeb Bush: "Of course the rich will get richer..."   6 days 15 hours ago
  • Fracking and "Drill, Baby, Drill!" — so that America can be "energy independent" — that's what we've been hearing for years.

    Now, because of less global demand for oil (producing an oil glut), the price for gasoline at the pump has dropped — which is great for us, but yet, still " they" complain.

    Jeb Bush is calling to remove the nation’s 40-year-old ban on oil exports, approving the Keystone XL pipeline and eliminating a raft of environmental regulations — saying his proposals would stimulate economic "growth".

    All of the GOP candidates for president support the Keystone pipeline — and Ben Carson and Donald Trump would also support lifting the ban on crude-oil exports to foreign markets.

    Jeb also wants to repeal limits on carbon emissions and environmental standards for fracking (The GOP also wants to cut or eliminate the EPA).

    SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

    Scenario in 2026: Gasoline is up to $7 a gallon because oil (from Canada, Arctic drilling and fracking in the Dakotas) is now being exported to the highest bidder on the open global market.

    While pumping some of the dirtiest oil on Earth to the Gulf of Mexico to be exported to China, the Keystone pipeline bursts in Nebraska, contaminating all of the fresh water in the Ogallala aquifer.

    Worse yet, there is no EPA to clean up the mess — so the situation becomes permanent.

    Now, until or unless the pipeline can be repaired, there's even less oil for domestic consumption — so the cost of gasoline goes up to $10 a gallon.

    Meanwhile, owners of VWs are getting a lot less miles-to-the-gallon since their auto recalls.

    Less regulation, less taxes, less government spending, and the export of America's natural resources for consumption in China was just what we needed.  Only, it's too bad the Ogallala aquifer was ruined, or corporations may have wanted to bottle that water and export it for profit too.

    Reply to: Jeb Bush: "Of course the rich will get richer..."   6 days 15 hours ago
  • You are confused. You're information is just wrong. You also don't understand what a corporate tax, which, is officially 30% but an actual 17% and is 49th out of the top 50 wealthiest nations when it comes to tax revenue from corporations. We have that tax so we can have a much much lower payroll tax and still maintain income because we have one of the lowest payroll tax in the world because it makes it easier for small businesses to grow because we want free market competition...or capitalism does but republicans no longer do. Republicans now fight to merge banks they call to big to fail into even bigger banks so that...if the one bank was too big to fail, what the heck do you call this now? Its a laugh. Republicans are now CREATING monopolies. They want to protect monopolies in the state too when it comes to health insurance. Of course republicans think that when it comes to the health of the citizens of this nation that they should have to worry about the costs of that healthcare and the costs of health insurance as well. There are just some things that should be above profit in an advanced and enlightened society.

    Also, we have no national sales tax, no luxury tax and the lowest tax rate on any import/export that isn't with a free-trade nation. Corporations also are provided services by the nation that they don't directly pay for. WHy should we help your corporation that just got hacked? Why should we help your corporation that just was defrauded? Why should we build roads so people can have better access to your facility...or why should we repave those roads? Your factory is on fire? Ok. Well, you are a corporation and not an individual by definition and law. Of course, we have some republican supreme court justices who could care less about the fact that a corporation by definition for legal protection is not a person but then when it comes time to give money to politicians, then they are individual people somehow. Don't you love your conservative supreme court justices? They really know what they are doing. Anyway, best of both worlds again for corporations. Do individuals pay taxes for themselves or for corporations that have factories in Vietnam? The truth is, without the government, corporations would fail. The people in your party not only want to get rid of the IRS but also the EPA, FEMA and the craziest of all, the FDA.

    "So, you say this is pill is an antibiotic? Ok. I trust you. Wish there was a group that tested this stuff to make sure it is what the seller says and that if it isn't, I have some legal recourse. OH well, too bad there isn't an agency that does that with our drugs and food to make sure its safe."

    And the fact that you are bringing inflation and deflation into this is just a joke. You wanted to be compensated for inflation? So why can we not all be? What about your house? Should you be able to sell that house for more than you bought it because of inflation? Oh geez...I bet you flipped out the first time you tried to sell your car. "What do you mean its value depreciated??!!"

    You are a joke and so are your attempted arguments. Capital gains is how rich people stay rich off of the labor of others and when they may stock gains they pay a lower tax than everyone else but when they lose money on stocks they get to write it off on their taxes. No-lose situation.

    And why? If you don't like this nation, go somewhere else. You will have less of a deal in India than you do here. So why don't you go to India? If you want to stay here, you should think about giving back. If you have enough money that you are worrying about the capital gains tax rate, you should shut up and give back to this nation that has afforded you the lifestyle you have.

    Reply to: Is the Government Jackboot on your Neck?   1 week 1 day ago
  • I do not think you know what you are talking about. Capital gains is not double taxation and cannot even be manipulated to view it that way unless you are somewhat mentally impaired. When a person takes their money and purchases a portion of a corporation (That is what buying stock actually is) and then getting money from that corporation's profits with the amount of the dividends being based on how much of the corporation they own. Then, when they sell a stock that rose, say, 40% over the last 6 months, when they sell that stock for a profit, please tell me why paying taxes on new income is double taxation? Seriously, as someone who makes 100% of their money from capital gains, I'd love to hear you tell me why its double taxation. Thanks.

    Reply to: Is the Government Jackboot on your Neck?   1 week 1 day ago
  • I used a different calling method and please do not use their "embedded" code for it slows down the site and doesn't scale right.

    they fixed the old (restored it) enough so I could still use it and thank god because that's thousands of graphs.

    Reply to: New Home Sales Pop Up by 5.7% in August   1 week 3 days ago