Who Does The Measuring

In the 1980 campaign, Reagan would regularly say that a recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose your job. It was a pithy line that got at something that was always missed by the politicians at the time. That is, the economy is not the same for everyone. You can have a good economy but there will be people who are not doing so good. The reverse is also true. Even in the Great Depression, there were people doing fabulously well.

That is the problem facing the political class this year. According to their court wizards, the economy is growing at a blistering pace. The fourth quarter of last year saw growth at over three percent and inflation falling down to two percent for what the wizards call personal items, while overall inflation was under two percent. The definition of “personal items” is one of those things that makes sense to the people doing the counting, but not to anyone who is doing the actual spending

Does it feel like the economy is growing at a blistering pace? Most people do not think the economy is great. In fact, most people think we are in difficult economic times, despite relatively high employment. This was one of the top reasons people voted for Trump in Iowa and New Hampshire. Under Trump, people perceived the economy as strong while under Biden it seems to be weak. The main reason is inflation. Every trip to the store sees prices higher than the last trip.

For the sake of comparison, the last time Americans experienced significant retail inflation was in the 1970’s. The court wizards back then used different rulers for measuring things like inflation, but everyone agrees retail inflation was higher than what we have experienced the last few years. The economy also grew at a faster rate most years during this time. The recession of 1974 was followed annual growth of near five percent the following years.

Five percent growth in 1976 did not keep Gerald Ford from losing to Jimmy Carter and it did not keep Reagan from beating Carter in 1980. The reason is GDP is not a great way to measure the economy. The formula for calculating GDP is Consumption + Government Spending + Investment + Net Exports​. If inflation is roaring, consumption and government spending will also be roaring. You can have a growing GDP while people are seeing their budgets ravaged by inflation.

Of course, we live in the managerial age and managers can always be counted on to do one thing very well and that is lie about what they are doing. In the case of the economy, the court wizards keep tinkering with how they measure things like inflation to make the number look smaller. Shadow Stats keeps track of these changes and reframes official economic numbers in the old way of measuring them, so that we can compare today with the past.

When we take an honest look at the economy over the last few years, we see that inflation was comparable to the 1970’s, but not quite as high. People who buy food will tell you that prices are rising again, despite some relief last year. In the end, we could replicate the 1970’s in terms of the pattern and duration, even if overall inflation figures are not quite the same. The reason people think the economy stinks, despite the official numbers, is that is does stink for people who buy things.

That brings us back to that Reagan quip and another key point. The American economy over the last thirty years has transformed into something that is really good for people in finance, government, the academy and corporate governance, but it has not been great for people who make things and fix things. The nurse practitioner, which is really a government job, is doing great, but her patients who work in the honest economy are finding it hard to pay those health insurance bills.

Returning to that magic formula for measuring GDP, if the Investment side grows, but consumption remains flat, then GDP rises. Since government always grows and that growth is fueled by the Fed creating debt through the banking system, GDP is just about guaranteed to grow every year, even if the economy is in recession. Put another way, debt-driven government growth not only corrupts the nation but it corrupts the way in which we can measure the corruption.

This corruption has been highly effective. The typical American has barely noticed that it requires two incomes to have the life that used to be possible on a single income, at least for the middle-class. The baby boomers grew up in one income, intact two-parent homes, but they lived as adults in two income, often broken homes. The relative material prosperity came at the cost of social capital. The new way of measuring things masked the real trade-offs that came with the new economy.

We may be reaching the end of the line with the new way of measuring things, which is why people are not buying the official numbers. Those bulging baby boomer portfolios cannot mask the fact that their kids are saddled with debt and are struggling to maintain a lifestyle the parents took for granted. Of course, the next round of young people will enter adulthood in debt and looking forward to paying the pensions and health care costs of eight million retired people.

What all of this gets to is that measuring is necessary, but it is not how things are measured that matters. It is who does the measuring. That was the subtext of that Reagan quip half a century ago. Americans are pessimistic about the economy because it is not good for them. It may be great for the people doing the measuring, but that does not change the fact the typical American is not experiencing great times. That is because of who is in charge, not how they got there.


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204 thoughts on “Who Does The Measuring

  1. ” the next round of young people will enter adulthood in debt and looking forward to paying the pensions and health care costs of eight million retired people.”

    Hmm, young colored population paying old white people’s pensions and health care costs, Since most old people are white people
    I knew Fed tried to increase quasi-tax such as tax on beer, because its suicidal to consider tax on colored population
    But It doesn’t matter because it’s inevitable to steroid version of BLM movement will happen and all the Jewish money escapes to Singapore

    Angry colored mob with sickle and pickax will ethnically massacred clueless white people
    China and other developed countries witness the stupidity of white people in real life times

    It’s funny to watch that white women get raped and killed even though white women Pronounce correctly the sacred magic word of diversity

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  2. The only people who use electric saws are libertarians and homosexuals.

    Get a Stihl. Nothing smaller than a 250.

    Learn how to hold it correctly. Learn how to start it correctly. Learn how to maintain it correctly. Learn how to sharpen your chain correctly. Get some wedges, extra plugs, scrench, e-clips, safety glasses, etc. A solid axe. Learn the trees you will be cutting.

    Learn how to read the binds on a log. Watch your kerf. Set your wedges early and often.

    Even if you don’t think you’re going to be doing any falling, learn how to fall correctly from the master (most all of this applies this to bucking, too, especially on a slope):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbnRMyq5cKs

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  3. Z writes about social capital being degraded.

    This is certainly true. When you live in a great city like San Francisco, and all the streets are taken up by the homeless and their garbage, and it’s legal to steal certain amounts thus forcing the closing of department stores downtown, it’s time to admit the Democrats have fabulously mishandled the social capital of the cities they run.

    The Democrats are not known for their backbone. They only develop backbone when their most precious pet political projects are being threatened. When it comes to hard governing decisions, they pass the buck.

    At least with the Republicans you could say they are willing to be firm SOME OF THE TIME. Not always, no. But a Republican authority figure might make a hard, unpopular decision like Reagan did when he fought against massive inflation in his early administration. It all depends on who’s in power.

    [To read more of my stuff, click on GREG NIKOLIC up above with your mouse]

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  4. People are afraid and angry.

    Fear: prices keep going up, even if the rate for some things have moderated, wages have not gone up. Moreover, 100% of jobs added under Biden have gone to non-native born Americans, per VDARE and Zerohedge. People looking for the traditional pay raise, i.e. changing jobs, are finding no takers for Whites. Indeed Bloomberg notes that since 2020 Summer of George (Floyd), only 6% of new hires by Fortune 500 have been White. And likely 100% of those Alphabet+.

    Moreover layoffs are being promised and delivered at an alarming rate, as big companies and small lay off White workers and replace them with AI. Notable Layoffs include Google, Microsoft, Disney, Paramount, GM, that translation service, Uber, and Linkedin. People are afraid, not only can they NOT get a raise by switching jobs (few get raises at their own jobs), but prices as noted below particularly of medical insurance go up and up and up while they face the specter of being unemployed permanently if White.

    The Anger: people see like in my state, California, free health care for illegals while they pay ever more for their own. Illegals in California and Illinois get a lot of money for rent, food, furniture! and other expenses. In Illinois it is $9K. The feds give illegals even more money. Illegals skip lines, don’t have to show ID, don’t have to be vaxxed, don’t undergo security screening in their FREE airline trips. For people who work and play by the rules its spitting in their faces. People see preferences for illegals and legal immigrants over themselves.

    Note: Chris Gore and Alan Ng over at Film Threat website have a whole series of DEI in Hollywood. Bottom line, no White person not even gays can get hired anymore, actors and writers have been purged of Whites save a very few big big names, and EVERY guild/craft has their experienced White members purged for “diverse” people which is why effects, camera shots, performances etc are garbage. No TV show or movie can be made without Whites being the bad guy, the writers all “diverse” i.e. non-White, all the leads being black and gay, and “current thing” politics inserted (which means its lame and outdated by the time it airs or screens, 3 years for movies and 12-18 months for TV shows). White people particularly White men are angry about the destruction of their heroes: Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, Daredevil, the Hulk, Captain Kirk, Obi-Wan Kenobi, etc. Because they meant something to them when they were 10-15 years old. A woman like Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm has done more to radicalize and anger White men than a thousand speeches by Jared Taylor or Donald Trump. People are not moist robots — feelings and memories matter and this is the subtext of per the FT, men moving ever more rightward and women move ever more leftward.

    And in this, the anger and fear merge. White guys know if they get fired, it will be to save non-White jobs, those of incompetents, and they will never get another job. California has basically banned contracting and that’s moving national, so there is not even that work-around. Z-Man you better make $$ while you can as independent contracting is going away nationally. Gavin Newsom’s gift to the nation.

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    • Jim Snow is serious business. But it is still hard to believe that whites are the new n*****s. How did that happen??

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      • How is who, as Z notes.

        If I were in charge of the Federal Reserve, it wouldn’t debase the currency to enrich finance and immiserate the workers. If we END THE FED, *every person in it* will go on to rob the poor to give to the rich in some other way. *It* is *them*.

        Or, an example closer to your question: Christian businesses exist to rip off Christians. Other religions don’t have this problem, because they’re not made of traitors.

        Institutions, procedures, law, “policy,” etc.—all bullshit. There are kinds of people and ways those kinds of people act, regardless of *everything* that we call politics.

        Lenin, the last political genius, understood perfectly: every problem is a list of names.

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        • Underrated comment. Homo economics does a lot of the heavy lift for managerial pod people’s self-justifications. Over time every dimension of humanity gets rationalized into a corporate manager checkbox (women giving the suggestions is not the primarily driver but they certainly don’t help). This is why we have so many new Ministers of Censorship and now Loneliness Czars– Wtf that is supposed to exist for.

    • The exclusion of white men is going to be a key factor in prolonging the economic downturn that’s coming (or maybe is already here). It can’t be corrected in short order, since the blame for said downturn is all going to be on the same demographic that is being excluded. Only strong independent black women can save us from GD 2.0. So it will last a good while.

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    • Whiskey: “No TV show or movie can be made without Whites being the bad guy”

      OTOH, bishes don’t get moist nether regions from daydreaming about Nice Guys.

      When Mother Nature serves up lemons, Gangsta Alphas make lemonade.

      Betas & Gammas, not so much.

      Improvise, muh Bruthaz, IMPROVISE!!!!!

      http://tinyurl.com/2vv95pmj

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  5. All you need to know about the GDP as a measure of general prosperity is that should Bill Gates every visit Seattle’s biggest homeless camp, suddenly, on average, everyone is a millionaire.

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  6. I hate to say this, because I loved Reagan, but FUCK Reagan! Look what he did to his glorious CA in 1986.

    He cucked where it counted on the Amnesty. Who gives a shit about the USSR when you open your own border to total invasion? Maybe he couldn’t do anything. And if he couldn’t, then it’s all kabuki theater. The glory of that time was just the momentary resurgence of the stock people without a fucker like Jimmeh Carter bringing them down.

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    • The timeline of the Reagan amnesty lines up with the Iran/Contra affair. I wonder if he was blackmailed into it? No matter, if Reagan hadn’t issued the amnesty, then Bush or Clinton would have.

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    • Want to see something that now looks like aliens from another planet? Find a video of the challenger launch in 1984. All normal white people waving flags, supporting the accomplishments of their fellow whites. Of course, it all ended in disaster, but the whole country mourned for their people.

      Now – imagine that happening today. The only people in the cockpit would be diverse retards. The ship blows up and what happens? All of the blacks will be happy that any Whites on board died, and the dead blacks will be blamed on white racism for putting them in a cockpit they were not properly trained to operate.

      This is the world we live in and I hate it with a burning fire.

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      • You and me both Brother problem is most are still to comfortable to hate it enough to want to change it…

      • I was outside Orlando when the Challenger made its maiden voyage in 1983. I was standing out in a hotel parking lot with my dad and even at that distance we could see it riding up into space. There were several guests watching it, surely every one of us white. I vividly remember some other man saying “makes you proud to be an American!” I don’t care how corny that sounds, I flipping hate the people that took a jackhammer to that world.

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        • Know EXACTLY what you mean. Being as descriptive and concise as I can be, hence avoiding hyperbole: what is happening with the contemporary West is the greatest crime in history. That is the most balanced, informed description of it

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  7. In 1974, a modest house in LA would cost 40K and the average salary was like 12-20K. Today, that same squat little house could be worth 2-3 MILLION DOLLARS! Average salary easily less than 100K.

    The quaint American dream of a house, car, and a couple of kids costs in excess of 3 MILLION DOLLARS! How the F are decent K-selected people supposed to afford this or come even close? To add insult to injury, the R-selected give zero shits and just pump out them kids and get free medical, school, housing, food, you name it!

    It’s all quite a nightmare that has been foisted on this once great nation.

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  8. One of the biggest false metrics is the stock market. The Dow hit 38,000, an all-time record high, last week. It went up 6,000 points since November.”
    Its just going up to match inflation.

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  9. Liars, and liars with numbers. Nothing to see.

    Here’s what is real. Murica spends 50 years replacing males with females in education and employment, plus another 50 of AA for the rest of the ‘minorities’ . . . the whole lot being generally third-rate compared to the Evil White Males done been dumped.

    Then Merry Murica crushes the middle class, exports production/manufacturing/labor, opens the border to the world, and institutes a ruinous Gaian agenda. What is the EU and DC at this point, but an ornate coven?

    And yet . . . The Economy is grrrrrrreat! Just as Tony the Tiger said! Tony being imaginary like their ‘healthy economy’.

    Then again, it’s well-known that I am Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

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  10. I think there’s an interesting little lesson about inflation that’s going to end up in econ textbooks if there continues to be some honesty on the part of writers. After the real estate crash in 2008, the Federal Reserve bailed out all of their buddies at the big banks with printed money. That free money didn’t cause much in the way of inflation because the big banks basically just gambled it between themselves. A big loss at the poker table for Citi just meant a big gain for J.P. Morgan.

    When COVID hit though, the Federal Reserve started to move towards actively printing money for everyone – not just their banking buddies. The broad populace receiving this newly printed funny money started actually spending it and thereby caused inflation. At this point, there’s no walking that back without raising interest rates to the punitive levels we saw in the 70’s. That’s not going to happen though because the Fed is all in for Biden’s re-election. They’ll actually print more funny money this year to try and make that hapen.

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    • Exactly. Though that is well known, if mostly ignored. The books define price inflation as just too much money chasing too few goods, so obviously if you flood the bankers with money, it will cause price inflation in those things bankers buy. And when you flood the working poor with cash, groceries and rent are going up.

      Rent got the double whammy of landlords not being able to evict for non-payment, so lots of people lived rent-free for a couple years. Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.

      • The rent and mortgage moratoriums never made sense, or student loans for that matter. They were paying people 50k+ on unemployment, why do those things? Perhaps a trial run for martial law when the financial system finally goes kaput? can’t be that far off then.

        Everything they did in 2020 was economic, except for the fear porn.

    • The gov also crippled the economy with lockdowns, so you had more $$ chasing fewer goods and services (=inflation).

  11. The primary reason GDP is more or less useless for anything other than propaganda purposes is that, as any non-diverse kindergartener can tell you, you can’t add apples and oranges and get anything meaningful.

    I doubt even ShadowStats is keeping up with the “true” inflation rate. The last few years have seen fantastic productivity gains, which in a real economy, would have likely led to lower prices. So in order to see how much they are stealing from us, we have to add the hypothetical deflation rate to the observed inflation rate.

    Wondering why the stock market is doing what it is? It’s all that stolen wealth looking for a place to hide.

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    • I keep asking myself why the market has gone so crazy for the past few months. Is it that they’re getting ahead of the expected rate cuts this year? Or will the first announced rate cut by The Fed trigger even more exuberance?

      But in the end, there’s no logical explanation for what’s going on. If the market was governed by logical psychology (is that an oxymoron?), the same sticker shock we all see at the supermarket and restaurant would ensure that the markets remain flat for the time being.

      • “But in the end, there’s no logical explanation for what’s going on”

        Usually signs of a top. They have two choices (really only one since they decided to do what they did in 2008) they can let things crash and get themselves a buffer for the next round of printing, or print ahead of the crash like 2020 and stoke inflation higher. Eventually leading to hyperinflation.

      • Ultimately, the money that is going into the market driving up prices has to come from somewhere. It’s not coming from people adding to their 401(k)s, as boomers are cashing out faster than all other wage earners are buying in. It’s not from HFTs; they don’t bring capital into the market cap, they just arbitrage spreads. It’s not margin buyers; that’s just another way of saying it’s lenders. People looking for places to park newfound (or stolen) wealth.

        As others have pointed out, the top end isn’t feeling inflation. Or more to the point, they are primarily feeling it in stock prices.

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    • As I recall Reagan followed that with “And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his job.”

      Sadly, this time it will take more than getting rid of one guy to really change the course.

      • I would guess it’s not being measured very well. People are not fungible. You displace one white boomer or Xer and fill his place with 3 or 4 diversity hires, it looks like productivity plummets.

        I did thriving business during the lockdowns, doing automation. It bothered me at first knowing that the stuff my team and I were building would displace real flesh and blood people, but eventually it hit me that there was no reason why people sat at home instead of coming in to work, ignoring the CoVidiots, except they chose to do so.

        I’ve also made my peace with the people who decided to get jabbed just to keep a job. Golden handcuffs are nice and pretty, but they are still handcuffs.

        I hope and pray that people will come to realize that MegaCorp does not have their interests at heart, so should not ever consider working for them and thereby help bring about the commie wet dream, but knowing people, I doubt it.

    • Steve: “The last few years have seen fantastic productivity gains, which in a real economy, would have likely led to lower prices.”

      Could you please give us a few specific examples of “fantastic productivity gains”?

      Also, how do we continue to experience “productivity gains” if excess deaths [due to the V@xxines] are running at 30% per year, often ki11ing many of the most productive workers in the economy [especially in Health Care & the Military & Edumakashun, where the V@xxines were mandatory].

      And before you laugh at “Edumakashun”, axe yourself: How many professors of Mechanical & Chemical & Electrical & BioMechanical Engineering were forcibly v@xxinated?

      Not to mention Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Philosophy, etc etc etc…

      [Here’s a weird little factoid I just noticed; the official Wikipedia page for “Analytic Philosophy” fails to mention Kurt Goedel.]

      [Here’s another weird little factoid; neither does the official Wikipedia page for “Continental Philosophy”.]

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  12. Pingback: DYSPEPSIA GENERATION » Blog Archive » Who Does The Measuring

  13. “the next round of young people will enter adulthood in debt and looking forward to paying the pensions and health care costs of eight million retired people.”

    “Eight” million seems like a typo – maybe you intended to write “eighty” million?

    • Eight million boomers once the clot shotz take effect and Juan drops his price to $5 per pillow end-of-life treatment. /sarc, sorta

      • There still is a problem with the numbers that needs explaining. boomers are estimated at 77M, but now dying off precipitously. 20 years and they should be pretty much gone. Perhaps 20 years from now, remaining Boomers are estimated to be no more than 8M?

        In any event, one thing not considered is Boomer “wealth” transfer. I’ve seen estimates of $42T to $62T. This wealth goes to their Millennial offspring. Now I don’t mean to say that this affects the “man in the street” discussion as much as it illustrates a continued concentration of wealth in the upper tier of this society. The real middle class has little to look forward to unless we get our act together as a (sane) society.

        • The baby boomers received a massive generational transfer of wealth from their World War II parents. In fact, it was the largest in history.

          Whether they do the same for their own children seems highly unlikely. I don’t recall any World War II parents laughingly telling everyone that they’re “spending their kids’ inheritance.”

          Of course, there are always exceptions, but passing along generational wealth has never a priority for baby boomers.

          • So what are Boomers going to do with the $42T they are estimated to possess? Those estimates don’t seem to be decreasing, indeed growing as the markets prosper. I maintain the Boomers will pass it along. I don’t maintain however, that the millennials’ situation will change.

            Why? Because those rich Boomers are in the upper quintile of wealth (really more like the upper 10%) and their kids will also be in the upper quintile (if not already, then when they get their inheritance).

          • Compsci, I was conceived between husband one and husband two. My nominal dad, whom I cared for a great deal, left nobody noth–eeng! except for his third wife and I agree with his decision, she’s a pretty good egg. My biological sperm donor recently lost his wife and has announced his entire millions of dollars estate — he was a successful investor in Orange County CA real estate inter alia — will be going into a trust fund for the sole benefit of a certain breed of dog.

            Nothing for moi or my needful sibling (technically a half-sibling). All boomers; me, Gen X and predicted the state of personal affairs, with some real affairs going on there, back in fourth grade. I haven’t been disappointed or let down by my own observations regarding “family” since.

          • My kids will be getting $$$. You can’t take it with you and they will need it far more than we do (economic trends being what they are). I was fortunate in that I was born without a greed gene.

        • Please feel free to double-check my math, but let’s calculate it out.

          77 Million Baby Boomers.
          $42 Trillion to $62 Trillion in wealth.
          Calculating it out, this comes out to an average net worth of $545 to $805 per Boomer.

          The average funeral costs around $7,000, which doesn’t bode well for a Millennial windfall.

          Even to myself, the above numbers are hard to believe. What am I missing here?

          • Oh, good grief. Lineman is correct. (Thanks for the catch.) I was, indeed, missing three zeroes in my calculation for trillions. (Sorry, everyone.) Let’s try this again.

            77 Million Baby Boomers.
            $42 Trillion to $62 Trillion in wealth.
            Calculating it out, this comes out to an average net worth of $545K to $805K per Boomer.

            I’m finding these numbers hard to believe, too, but for entirely different reasons. It would be interesting to see how this is distributed. For example, does the top 1% hold half of this wealth?

          • Winter. As I read a while ago, to enter the top 10% wealth category, you needed about $1.5M in net wealth (excludes debt). This of course changes as economics moves up and down. Now the top 10% of the population would (officially) include 35M people—and of course, they ain’t nearly all Boomers. As said, most Boomers are basically “poorish” like the rest of the nation—despite all the insane jealousy spouted concerning how “good” they had it.

            That ain’t much, I admit—but image all those Boomers not even approaching that level. None the less, an inheritance of say, $1M is a pretty good start in life for an indebted Millennial and I maintain from the above better than 90% of their cohort.

            Of course, the top .01% or so of folk are the Billionaires. But I never said that *all* Millennials are going to be wealthy when the Boomers died off, just the opposite, that most Millennials will “come a cropper” in the wealth game, but not all. Further, these Millennials will be of sufficient number to replace their parents, and as such, the wealth inequality in the nation continues.

        • Channeling my inner Krusty here, I feel like the advent of 2 income households has caused a massive split between the upper and lower middle class. The doctors or lawyers who were maintaining a family on 1 salary began to marry other high earners, bringing about 2 doctor or 2 lawyer households with 1 to 3 kids, while the regular wage earners were marrying their own earnings class and falling farther and farther behind and struggling to bring up even one kid in the new middle class style.
          This new super middle class is very comfortable and unlikely to want to change anything.

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          • This is what is known as “assortive mating”. Good description of the effect of such in Charles Murray’s book, “Coming Apart”.

            However, to use the term “middle class” regardless of the qualifier before it (super), I say is deceptive. These folk are the present elite and have slipped the bounds of “normality” from what was once our greatest strength as a nation—a large, productive middle class with minimal wealth disparities from the wealthy of the time.

          • I’ve known some, I don’t think they’re “elite” They still work, but they buy nicer cars, have big houses, 3 or 4 kids well maintained, they eat out at nice places at least occasionally, European Trips with the kids, Nice colleges, etc. But they’re day top day existence still follows middle class patterns. Some are also very nice, although some have that nouveau-riche attitude.

      • DaBearsJ: “Eight million boomers once the clot shotz take effect”

        Dadgum.

        I wouldn’t have had to effort poast if I had seen your reply there.

        Sorry about that.

  14. I just ran across this yesterday. Study from UPenn Wharton that says in a best case scenario, we have til about 2040-2045 before the debt bomb blows up. But the best case scenario would mean it is seen by the markets that the government is taking action to arrest the debt, and lacking such action (or perception of it), the time window to address the debt is “much shorter.” “Blow up,” as I phrase it, would be defined as the point at which the debt causes either default or a monetization of the debt that produces “significant” inflation. Implying the inflation we’ve already been seeing is not significant, relatively. (I was under the impression that the debt was already being monetized, but if so, we ain’t seen nothing yet, according to this). https://budgetmodel.wharton.upenn.edu/issues/2023/10/6/when-does-federal-debt-reach-unsustainable-levels

    What will happen? The regime will take zero action to arrest the debt, because by its nature it can’t, and the “blow up” will come much sooner than 2045. That’s my prediction.

    If my favorite stock market guru is right (in the years I’ve been following him he’s never been very wrong), and we are only a year or so out from a major generational top in the market which precedes a multi decade bear market, then taken in context with the Wharton study, that suggests a crack up boom, with declining markets and spiking inflation simultaneously. Nowhere to hide.

    If Trump does manage to get re-elected, he would be the fall guy, discrediting both him and the “Maga” movement for the next half century, a la Hoover. Assuming the “nation” itself is able to hold together through all of this, which is beyond the scope of this post.

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    • Jeffrey Zoar: “I just ran across this yesterday. Study from UPenn Wharton”

      Huh.

      “This analysis was produced by Jagadeesh Gokhale and Kent Smetters.”

      “Gokhale” & “Smetters” both sound very shkotzim to muh ear.

      Wasn’t Penn where the filthy stinking shiksa, Liz Magill, was in charge?

      And were not all the other Ivies headed by j00z & j00esses?

      (((RAHM EMANUEL))): “Never let a good crisis [i.e. (((October 7th))] go to waste!!!”

      ===============

      Almost all of poor shiksa Liz Magill’s Wikipedia page is j00 this, j00ess that, j00 the other, j00, j00, j00, j00, j00.

      Liz Magill
      http://tinyurl.com/mrywpyk9

      ===============

      • I consider the scant/nonexistent attention this study has received to be a point in its favor

        • Jeffrey Zoar: “I consider the scant/nonexistent attention this study has received to be a point in its favor”

          The non-non-j00z certainly wouldn’t want the non-j00z to know about it.

          15 moar years to fleece the enemy, before it’s “Oy Vey, da goyim know, shut ‘er down!!!”

    • The only way to deal with the debt is to cancel the interest payments on the present debt and finance the gov with non-usurious money creation, not piling on more debt at interest. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth by the bloodsuckers but they will just have to get the big finger.

      • There are other ways, such as cutting back medicare and other gibs, cutting the MIC, and increasing taxes, but people seem to prefer taking the risk of economic collapse to those choices.

  15. Even the long dead guy who invented GDP thought it was a poor measure of prosperity. La Wiki:

    The modern concept of GDP was first developed by Simon Kuznets for a 1934 U.S. Congress report, where he warned against its use as a measure of welfare

    21
    • Government produces nothing. It can only take or print. The fact that government spending is included is laughable on its face. If you want to look at that number, which has massive calculation problems on its own, at least look at the one with the government spending deflator built in.

      One of the best metrics is energy utilization. If you see massive distillate builds you have to ask why. The Saudis just mothballed a massive Aramco project that would have been a million barrels a day. They clearly found that given the global economy, not just ours, this won’t be needed soon. It’s a worldwide slowdown. We’re all in debt. We’re all a mess. This hasn’t happened in a very long time. No one is thinking about countries like Egypt right now. Huge population, Egyptian Pound is falling through the floor. China is in a huge liquidation mode. Etc.

      36
      • The elites through their green energy projects seem to be downsizing the Western economies at least. Now when they want to advertise measurements of the economy they would like to use the “downsized” model while not talking about those left abandoned by the downsizing. They just want to pretend those people do not exist.

        The people left behind and outside of the downsized economy are ignored in the measurements, as an example those who have given up on finding a livable job are quickly excluded from the labor statistics.

        18
        • The economy has been shrinking since the early 2000’s. I think when the club of rome put out their limits to growth paper, think it was 71 or so, they realized that the West was going to lose its control of oil, which is also what they tied the value of our money to maybe the next year. They want to go “green” because it will still be something they can control internally, as opposed to having other countries control the value of money thru natural resources. As we get closer to the day they lose control, their shrieking increases in volume.

          15
      • College-educated NPCs I know josh around with me. They don’t believe our national creditors can actually claim on the public debt. “Who do I write the [100+k for.each family member] check out to?” The only response I manage is that it’s complicated but they should consider the historical examples and foreign intervention in our current affairs.

    • “The modern concept of GDP was first developed by Simon Kuznets for a 1934 U.S. Congress report”

      EARLY LIFE
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Kuznets#Early_life

      Hhmmm…

      Henry Morgenthau Jr.
      52nd United States Secretary of the Treasury
      In office January 1, 1934 – July 22, 1945
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Morgenthau_Jr.

      I’m telling youse bros, after the Jekyll Island Triumph, (((they))) artificially engineered the so-called “Great Depression” in order to destroy the career of Herbert Hoover & simultaneously seize control of everything.

      Hoover was a prophet.

      He could sense what was coming.

      He was paying attention to the massive shooting & starvation deaths of the White Christians of Mother Russia.

      The destruction of Herbert Hoover was a singular triumph for the Council of the Sanhedrin.

  16. As a side note, there is no one-size-fits-all inflation rate that the American people are experiencing. For a boomer, with a paid off house and on Medicare, the inflation rate is far lower than for the millennials in prime child bearing years, who also have student loans. While the boomer feels like a rubber band hit him, the millennial feels shot in the face at point blank. This is a major driver, not the only one, why millennial women not on WIC and Section 8, have wombs as empty as Taylor Swift’s, who has no excuse for that other than she’s on to screwing a football player and may or may not keep him, but will definitely write a song about him.

    As another side note, if you’re into the ganja, especially on a Bob Marley level, prices have fallen through the floor on that.

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    • As a tail-end boomer, living in a nice house with property, and every toy imaginable, with a good, well-paying job and decent health, things look great for me.

      Those more than twenty-years behind me? Apres nous, le deluge…

      4
      7
        • You say that like more than 1 in 100 Boomers has ever considered someone other than themselves, children included.

          10
          • One gratuitous assertion is logically refuted by another. I know few who are not Boomers (my circle of friends and cohort) and none are not concerned for the future of their children, nor for that matter the younger generation in general.

            As stated, there are estimated to be 77M in the Boomer cohort. 7M would be a huge number, if such selfishness existed in Boomers, but still less than 10% of the cohort.

            Most Boomers are in the very straights we so decry Millennials are in—except they are too damn old to do anything to improve their condition.

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  17. Well, that’s what running big deficits when unemployment is low will do for you. Running a 6.2% of GDP deficit when unemployment is extremely low and the country isn’t in recession is unprecedented.

    If you run big deficits all the time, it’s almost impossible to go into recession – at least as long as the world will finance those deficits.

    What would the economy be like if we were running normal deficits of ~3% of GDP? Well, subtract that 3% from the real GDP growth of 2.5% and you get -0.5% growth.

    Would the US economy be growing at a healthy clip without unusually large deficits? Probably not. But, hey, as long as the debt market is willing to buy our debt at fairly low interest rates, this game will go on.

    But it will end. People always tell me, “Citizen, people have been worrying about the debt and deficits since the 1980s and nothing ever happens.” I tell them that debt to GDP under ~90% usually means that you’re okay as a country, so, yeah, people were worrying for no reason.

    But, historically, once your debt to GDP goes over 100% (our debt to GDP is 120%), things usually go bad within a decade or two. Not tomorrow, but not after we’re dead either. The US has a lot of rope being the global reserve currency, but we’re not immune from simple math.

    At 4% interest rates on treasuries, the govt will pay 4.8% of GDP toward interest on the debt. Given the fact that we run structural deficits of ~3%-4% even without interest on the debt (so 8%-9% total deficit), that’s not going to fly over time. I don’t care if you have the GRC or not.

    But for now, we can play that game. Run big deficits and keep the economy out of recession.

    19
      • I doubt that the world would let us get that far. Having the GRC gives us some extra leeway, but the world can’t afford for us to get to that point.

        They rely on the dollar as well, so if we’re obviously on course for trainwreck, they’re going to do something to stop it.

        The main issue is that govt spending – not including interest on the debt – will structurally be ~4%, which will be about the same as nominal GDP grow (assuming inflation of 2%). That means that typically the debt to GDP will grow by around the interest on the debt – at least until the Boomer leave the scene.

        You’re talking about 4 to 5 percentage points a year. Even in five years, that’s 25 percentage points or 145% debt to GDP. That’s a death spiral.

        Barring an increase in taxes or reduced spending, the only way to square that circle is to have interest rates well below “real” inflation.

        Let’s say that real inflation is 6% and interest on the debt is 3%. The govt would be okay since nominal GDP growth is inflation plus real growth, so nominal GDP growth might be ~7%. That would keep the debt to GDP in check.

        Basically, the govt needs high real inflation but CPI underreporting that inflation so interest rates stay at or above CPI but well below real inflation.

        11
        • The odd thing is, we seem to be able to get T-bills bought by overseas investors who hesitate to invest in their own country. That’s a scary thought to consider the USA the “cleanest dirty shirt” in the hamper. 🙁

  18. “The economy also grew at a faster rate most years during this time. The recession of 1974 was followed annual growth of near five percent the following years.”

    When you lie about inflation, you can count inflation as growth. I’m pretty sure Nixon removed some stuff from the inflation numbers, I think fuel, housing and food.

    Chris Martenson is a bit of a crank, but this video is pretty good. It’s called fuzzy numbers. It’s a quick video about how the government has been mucking with the official statistics for political reasons for many decades.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPkTItOXuN0

    14
  19. Measuring the economy is like measuring your dick. You can manipulate the ruler and angles all you want to get a desired number, but the reality is when you show it for the first time to your new lady or a confused young man and see their reaction(in this metaphor, dealing with the real costs the average person experiences).
    If they say, “Awwwww…..” time to get a Porsche.

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    1
    • Measuring the economy is like measuring your dick.

      At least measurement of your nob only concerns a few metricks. But ‘The Economy’? Forget it.

      I spent a large part of my younger years reading various economic texts, entranced by the theories and the mathematics. Most of it was worthless. There seem to be a few hard and fast rules about money, and most of this seemed to be common-sense.

      The only decent explanation of money systems that I’ve seen and how humans interact to make ‘The Economy’ has been due to von Mises and later Rothbard; but they had their own failings. In the end, I gave up trying to understand – I felt I was getting stupider, frankly!

      Some things are just hard because they are complecks systems. And complecks systems are hard.

      12
    • I just tell them I need a yardstick. It’s not technically lying. There is a 3″ spot on the yardstick after all.

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  20. There are three main ways the government rigged the inflation numbers in the late 1990s, by adding circular methodology to the official BLS formula:

    First, they now change product weightings for high/low inflation items (substitution effect). For example, if chicken and beef are weighted equally in the formula and the cost of beef skyrockets, they assume more people will eat chicken, and readjust the formula accordingly.

    Second, they now try to filter out product improvements. The fancy electronics that are now included in almost every mechanical product, from cars to washing machines, are assigned a value and subtracted from the inflation formula, despite the fact that these improvements don’t fundamentally alter the utility of the products. In many cases they make them less durable, overly complicated and more expensive to repair.

    Third, they swapped out home prices for comparable rent calculations. The reasoning is that when you buy a home, part of the purchase is an investment, whereas renting an apartment is all current expense. So they now try to factor out the investment part of home price increases.

    There is some validity to these changes, but it renders them incomparable to prior figures, and gives the government a lot of flexibility in managing the adjustments, all of which seem to be made in the direction of lowering official inflation figures. This is very similar to how all the adjustments made by “climate scientists” are in the direction of making the raw temperature readings appear warmer.

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  21. There’s also the wealth transfer effect partially accounted for by reparations (not just for Blacks) in the form of affirmative action, D.I.E., other racial and gender preferences, ever projective and inefficient cash transfers and then the big one, demographic change, all intended to “level the distributive playing field” at the expense of the middle class which happens to be mostly white and non-“progressive.”

    What would be the normal curve of wealth distribution in the theoretical socialist society becomes, in practice, heavily skewed to one side. A plantation economy is doable and may be our future if economic collapse doesn’t overtake us, even a relatively untroubled future, so long as people feel they’re not being cheated and held in contempt. Orwell’s proles, for the most part, weren’t malcontents.

    14
  22. One sign the economy is cratering is the car market. It’d be interesting to see the vehicles sold to consumers versus fleet sales. I saw a Youtube video from a big-time used car dealer in Nevada who said banks were taking a bath on luxury repos at auction, which cuts into the amount they can loan dealers to acquire new stock and how much they can loan out to consumers. Also, banks have bought whole loan packages from “buy-here-pay-here” used car lots and they’re not able to do it anymore because there is no liquidity.

    This dealer said his business is going south on luxury cars, but he’s selling beaters at a pretty good clip, which he says is a sign of an economic contraction. This tells me the data we’re fed by these bureaucrats is absolute bull squeeze.

    It also doesn’t help the new car market that every car sold now has a giant screen in the dash that distracts the driver, all of these stupid electronic nannies for “safety” and a 2.0 liter turbo four or heaven forbid, a turbo three-cylinder. This is so the car won’t have too much carbon emissions, never mind this gas is harmless.

    V-8s and now V-6s are headed for extinction. Then CAFE will swoop in at 50-plus MPG and every car will have the added complexity of a hybrid system before the only thing that can satisfy regulators is EVs, which cost and weigh twice as much as an internal combustion-powered car and go half as far.

    The crackup is coming. It reminds me of that scene from the silly Mothman movie when the suspension bridge in West Virginia collapses into the Ohio River. It starts slowly and when the chain reaction really gets going, it accelerates like a funny car after the Christmas tree turns green.

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    • EVs cannot serve as mainstay personal transportation in the Great Lakes states or like. Temps were recently -9F true/-30F windchill. We have two more of those dips forecast. Even the chargers fail below 0F. Improved battery and power distribution technologies will not be riding to the rescue for decades IF.

      17
    • The EV thing is smoke and mirrors for the Gaia worshiping laptop class, not really a viable transport for people who actually need to get to work or across the country. It’s one of those “targets that will sadly not be met again this year”. The important thing is to *say* you want the EV’s. The laptopers forget quickly enough.

      What they *will* do is saddle almost everyone with a hybrid of some kind. My prediction is that this will just lead to a good used ICE-only car costing as much (or more) than a brand new hybrid. The used hybrid market is going to suck too. Generally, when buying a used car you ask “what was wrong with it?”. With used hybrids you won’t need to ask because the answer is always “the battery is f00ked”.

  23. Can’t think of a single official statistic that’s trustworthy. Just a quick grab from the bag:

    – excessive deaths: grudging acknowledgement that it is up for middle age and young cohorts. But they probably understate it considerably. Dissident vloggers seem far more credible here. And the professional medical literature is manifestly captured. This is killing large numbers of people right now. Not will, not might; IS.

    – illegal immigration: they don’t know how many and whatever they think the real number is, it’s higher than the number given. Complete FUBAR situation

    – military comparisons; why is it that the most lavishly spoiled military is running out of the bare essentials while the much leaner and cheaper Russian army is raining hundreds of tons of artillery shells down in Ukraine. Does Russian math now work differently from ours? Or are our leaders just incredibly corrupt, greedy and incompetent??

    – the economy: given the above why trust anything these people say. “Safe and effective”…. We’re flying blind, no one has a handle on the real data. If they did there would be fewer screwups

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    • I happen to believe the “immigration” numbers. Because under the current regime, there is zero incentive for illegal aliens to evade border patrol, and every incentive to turn themselves in. And the regime, believing that “immigrants” are the lifeblood of their future utopia and a moral good, thus want to brag about how many there are.

        • The traditional meaning associated with “HIAS” is Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, although I am sure that there are few to zero Hebrews immigrating for decades. In light of this the acronym needs updating. My suggestion is instead Hebrew Instigated Alien Sludge. This seems more accurate, and fits the aspirations of their boy, Mayorkas to a T.

      • I tend to believe them myself, but not why you believe them. There is another number that is reported by BP—“got aways”
        Yep, there are significant numbers of IA’s who do not attempt to cross at legal entry points. These folk are spotted through electronic surveillance and other techniques, but are not found when BP arrives on site. Been there done that myself.

        These folk may have criminal records, been deported before, or simply don’t wish to chance a legal asylum claim and release. The numbers I’ve heard have at the time rivaled the numbers of entry port arrivals officially recorded.

        This seems a dirty little secret as is the numbers of “Other than Mexican” (OTM) now officially crossing—about 50%. Last report I heard, over 100 countries were listed. It’s a world-wide business and the Cartels have a monopoly.

        6
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        • Another thing: I am pretty confident the regime likes to rub powerless deplorable noses in the fact that they are being replaced. If anything they might even overstate the numbers.

          5
          1
      • But why would a regime that seems to enjoy gaslighting about everything else give the real number of IAs?? Maybe they do, I just think they are generally “honesty challenged”

        • Well, the number of “got aways” seems to not play up BP effectiveness, so I thought it a legit number. As they say, “an admission against interest”, but what do I know.

    • There is no incentive for anyone in power to tell the truth, so the only alternative is dissident sites.

  24. Zman : “What all of this gets to is that measuring is necessary, but it is not how things are measured that matters. It is who does the measuring”.
    That reads a lot like a statement generally attributed to J. Stalin that: it’s not who votes, but who counts the votes that matters.

    A couple of metrics I watch re: economic health –
    credit card balances a record $995 billion according to data from TransUnion. (Let’s just call it 1 trillion). Total credit lines reaching a record aggregate total of $4.6 trillion. That’s not healthy and is not going to end well.

    Long time since I patronized McDonalds, but I gather a ‘value meal’ may be upwards of $15. That’s not healthy and is not going to end well either (in more ways than one).

    The list goes on, but something is rotten in the USA (and probably in the state of Denmark).

    21
    • The GDP stats are even more corrupted than people know…Martin Armstrong and his researchers have discovered that government salaries are double counted in the GDP stats, so the real GDP is far less than reported…
      Of course, in the old days, they measured actual output…By that measure, the US is in a depression…But debt creation by the Fed is masking it…

      14
      • And our GDP is also fake because the GDP deflator, given their fake inflation numbers, is far too low….

      • “Martin Armstrong and his researchers have discovered that government salaries are double counted in the GDP stats, so the real GDP is far less than reported…”

        Whoa! That’s huge right there. I knew that the way they handled accruing/expensing benefits and pensions was screwing up the numbers, but salaries? Did they say how the double counting was happening?

  25. Economic statistics have always been rigged. Unemployment has always been calculated by how many people with a 40-hour a week job lose it and file for benefits. It’s a vestige of the New Deal economy. If you’re part of the gig economy or a part-timer with no benefits, you’re not even on the radar.

    GDP is a false metric, it includes government spending which is fueled by debt, but the government added $24 trillion in debt since 2008. I think last year’s deficit was $1.7 trillion alone.

    One of the biggest false metrics is the stock market. The Dow hit 38,000, an all-time record high, last week. It went up 6,000 points since November. What, pray tell, is driving this “economic boom” in the last two months? Frankly it’s just a Ponzi scheme, like the entire FIRE sector. I think the Gen Xers and early Millennials are going to get fucked in equities when the Boomers cash out. There’s no way the “market” can be sustained indefinitely…

    22
    • Dubya inherited a $5T debt and left Obama with a $10T debt. Obama left Trump with a $20T debt and Biden is on track to close to a $40T. 3 double presidencies in a row doubled the debt each time. Are we really going to $80T in 2032? What does that even mean? Will the world accept this? What will a loaf of bread cost in 2033?

      17
    • “I think the Gen Xers and early Millennials are going to get fucked in equities when the Boomers cash out.”

      Got news for you. The equities problem is going to hit boomers, too, and the worst, because there is no way those are paper losses.

      Retirees have to take out an IRS-defined portion of their 401(k) and IRA every year, whether up or down market. My Silent father got utterly hosed in the aftermath of 2008, when he was forced to liquidate annualized average valuation at collapse prices.

      And as you say, this will only get worse as there are fewer people left to buy up the equities the boomers have to cash in. The upshot? Millenials for sure, but also the later X and early Z, maybe the entirety of Z, will end up being able to buy equities on the cheap.

      • Boomers, if they pay attention—and those with money do—attempt to convert their qualified IRA’s to Roth accounts and pay the taxes due now. Every time the market dips, they transfer those depressed stocks into their Roth, taking care to convert only enough so they don’t jump tax brackets. I suspect a lot of the current government tax revenue has to do with that.

        It’s a big business among financial analysts and CPA’s advertising this technique. Another of course is to spend your account on certain life insurance purchases to leave your heirs tax free when you assume room temperature.

        And so it goes, the wealthy get more wealthy and pass such on. The working stiff can “go f**k himself”. Things need to change or else.

        • True. When I retired in 2016, I converted my retirement and the TSA I had into a Vanguard Index fund and my wife did the same with the $ she inherited from her mother. Those funds have allowed us an income larger than what I had when I worked (she was a homemaker). I was initially amazed but learned that Fed policy is intended to prop up Wall Street (and us, by proxy).

    • I recall 2009, when the market tanked because it was all really hype and hot air. It seemed a painful but necessary correction to the reality of what companies were really worth. In short order, the market started climbing back up, up, up. But nothing changed to justify that. I looked around the factory and everything was the same, but the stock market said thing were really taking off. Huh?

      The stock market does NOT reflect reality.

      • How in the hell can the market reflect reality when it is/was the Fed buying stocks in a ploy called “quantitative easing”? Folks went along for the ride up, and I assumed sold out when the Fed began selling off. If a private citizen or company attempted this, they’d be in jail I suspect. 😉

      • Following the principle of “buy low, sell high” I thought it was crazy to buy stocks in 2008 when the Dow was at a then all-time high of 14,000. I was right, it fell by 50% to what I thought should have been more “normal” valuations.

        But then they did something I never expected: they re-inflated the bubble to almost triple the size of what it was then through a decade of ZIRP and $24 trillion of additional government debt. (Now they are trying to inflate the debt away).

        The new mantra should be “buy high, sell higher.” I stayed out. Am I a fool for not partaking in what is an obvious Ponzi scheme? If you don’t get out at the right time you’re screwed. If you get out early you lose out on the scam.

        The more you know about macroeconomics, the more you realize that the entire thing is a house of cards built around a hall of mirrors.

    • One of the biggest false metrics is the stock market. The Dow hit 38,000, an all-time record high, last week. It went up 6,000 points since November.”
      Its just going up to match inflation.

      • The reason we know the economy is bad is the birth rate. Because of how our economy works, people don’t need child labor to keep afloat or support them when they get old. And when times are tough, you cut the things that cost you the most with the lowest ROI. For most people, that’s kids. They’re expensive, and to live today both parents have to work which means expensive daycare.

        I’ve not studied it closely, but I’ve always assumed that affluent people are more likely to have more kids because they have discretionary income, as are very poor people because their costs are socialized.

        I think the reason why people are so perplexed by the stats is that according to most people we should have crashed the economy into a mountainside many years ago. But things keep staggering along. Every year we’re treated to “end of the world” prognostications that never come to pass.

        The reason the Government Party seems so absurdly terrified of a peasant revolt is that the system really is rigged to screw people over so the a few can cash in. Then they start a couple wars and call us Russian agents because we refuse to send our kids to fight their wars.

        Wars they’ve shown no ability to win.

        Trump is now the candidate of the “something is very, very, wrong here” coalition. That coalition knows the stats are a lie, because they can see the truth in simple things like a dozen eggs.

        They look at “2% inflation” stats and say to themselves, “Yeah but I still spent $3000 more a year buying food than I did 3 years ago. My credit card balance grows every month even though I’m buying the same things, and I can’t put extra money away even though I’m earning more.”

        2% inflation means the 25% inflation of the regime is now “locked in”

  26. VBL (I believe) mentions the waves of both inflation and bank collapse. First wave inflation, 2022, first wave bank collapses March 2023.

    More of both to come.

    Remember iceland?

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  27. I mean, if you’re a renter who commutes to work you’re gonna have a significantly different outlook on the economy than someone who bought their house in the 2010s and refinanced down to an artificially low interest rate.

    The economy for many young people is brutal where middle aged people it’s probably just peachy.

    Nobody can convince me that a lot of this discourse isn’t politically motivated. Speaking bluntly, people are really nervous that Biden might not win reelection, so they’re trying to gaslight people into thinking their experience isn’t reality and the economy is actually really good

    On the other hand I also occasionally fall prey to the defeatism prevalent on the online right and in the media. The fact is that most millennials own homes and 42% of them owned by 30, compared to 48% of gen x and 51% of boomers, but far more millennials choose to go to college or live with partners before marriage/home buying. The overall picture is not as bad as some people portray it.

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    • “The economy for many young people is brutal where middle aged people it’s probably just peachy.”

      Yes, it’s brutal for young people, particularly renters. But it’s hardly “peachy” for middle-aged people. Many are going without health insurance or paying insane rates just to have coverage. As far as groceries, everyone is paying more money for smaller portions. Yes, people who bought a home under lower interest rates are doing better, but the government is busy trying to load up their neighborhoods with Section Eighters and illegals. Hospitals are being overrun with people who don’t belong here, and nearly nobody in government is doing a damn thing to stop it.

      Unless you’re in the elite, the overall picture is, indeed, quite bad, and getting worse every day.

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    • The only thing i will say to your comment is based on the cooked government numbers:

      GDP went up 330 some billion last quarter
      Debt was up somewhere around 800 billion.

      As Charlie sheen in his crazy early 2000 phase would say #notwinning

      • And the GDP increase was all inflation, because the GDP deflator used to correct for that is far too low…

    • A lot of down votes, but he’s generally right. Millennial homeownership rates are about where they were for GenX and Boomers at the same age, same with wealth per capita.

      The issue is that people are struggling to maintain that lifestyle – two incomes instead of one. The other issue is that there’s a growing gap between the haves and have nots in the country.

      The top 20% are doing great and aren’t worried. The next 40% are doing okay – they own a home and some money – but they feel (correctly) that their grip on that lifestyle is tenuous at best. The next 40% are utterly screwed and they know it.

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      • I’d agree with you, but just wait until the job losses start piling up. As long as the music is playing, ya gotta keep dancing 😉

        I remember the years right before 2008, and those felt like the roaring 20’s compared to what we have today. Everybody was doing great, until they weren’t.

        10
      • I don’t look into these numbers, but I have to imagine millennials have more debt. They’re probably more educated, too— and more indebted. Subtract the debt to see how wealthy they actually are.

        • I’m a millennial, but i’m not like the majority in my generation. One of the few who swims against the current. Only thing that would scare me is if my bank failed and .gov didn’t honor deposit insurance. Which wouldn’t surprise me these days.

          • Why? I’m not married so i don’t need a house. At the current rate all of my money will go to nieces and nephews. Dated for a decade until i finally thru in the towel in 2020. Most of the women around these days aren’t marriage material. Better to leave it to family then lose it in divorce court.

          • I don’t think Lineman was talking about marriage. If you can spare some of that bank money, maybe a little silver, gold. Maybe a few practical items too??

          • Yea what MYS said transfer some of the banks money(because when it’s in their bank it’s theirs) into something you hold like precious metals, productive land, etc etc…

          • Who said i didn’t have any of that? 😉 Gold is money of kings, silver the money of gentleman, barter the money of peasants and debt the money of slaves. All our paper money is, is someone elses debt.

      • All I can say is that figure does not track with what I have seen with my own eyes at all, and I’m never surprised when I find out the media is lying about things.

        I know the living situation of probably about 50 or so people people within my age bracket (25-35) and very few were able to put the together the money for a down payment on a house and it’s hard enough for many to even keep up with car payments comfortably. I know 5 people who live in an actual house that they don’t rent with multiple other people. 3 of them, I don’t know well enough to know how they were able to achieve this but one, his dad just outright gave him a property he owned, and the other received substantial help from his parents with the down payment and also gets a monthly stipend from them. They both do actually.

        For the other 45 or so, the most common situations are either still living with parents or renting with 2-3 others.

        I find it very hard to believe this 42% number that the media puts out. One caveat is that I do live in a highly priced area relative to the country as a whole so I’m sure it’s a bit better elsewhere. 42% by 30 still seems suspiciously high though. They lie about most economic metrics, why not this one as well?

    • Joey Kent: Methinks your opinion is skewed by the golf-club social set you prefer to hang out with. Whenever we travel back to the big city, all the restaurants are packed and everyone drives a new (and constantly washed) car. But that is not reality.

      That is life in a city with an unending line of immigrants, most of them east and subcons, who come to an established immigrant community that helps get them established and provides them with jobs. They all have sister businesses, and ethnic and religious loan groups. In addition to the newcomers from the ‘home’ countries, there is also in-country immigration from their coethnics in NY and Cali, looking for a lower cost of living but still warm climate and large immigrant community. Texas fits the bill. Worth noting that rents also doubled with the constant influx of people, while salaries did not. Our own kids could not afford to live there without significant and ongoing help (one of many reasons we all moved).

      Here in heritage America, where we now live, things aren’t so peachy economically. The shamdemic shutdowns hurt the tourist trade and affected hotels and restaurants. The leftists who fled from their shithole cities are bringing in ‘diversity’ to help build their golf-course houses (where there used to be trees and deer) and ensure they have ‘ethnic’ restaurants to eat at. And east asian nail girls. They are well on the way to destroying a formerly charming 12k town.

      Our much smaller rural area is demographically more stable, but both here and in the other 12k town in the other direction, locals can’t afford anywhere to live and many have to put a trailer or shed on family land . . . if there is any. People aren’t going hungry – yet – but it’s not all ‘good times.’

      I know what I pay in the grocery store. I know that (partially due to economics of scale and # of companies and competition) prices here rurally are substantially higher than they were in the city. I can get ribeyes “on sale” locally for $12.98 a pound, when I got them on sale in DFW for $5.98 a pound. I can also check almost anything I purchased on Amazon from 2021 (when I first began significant online buying) and although a few exceptions have remained stable, most prices are up 15-50%. These are general household and yard/tool items, as well as a bit of food.

      If you’re buying branded golf clothes, I wouldn’t know how their price has been affected. I do know that the sales volume of many luxury items (watches, jewelry, etc.) have dropped – by significantly more than their prices have risen. I know what we paid for our property compared to the folks who bought it one year before they sold it to us. And I know what they are selling acreage for online compared to 2020/2021.

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      • The problem here is one of percentage and that problem is similar to how wealth is distributed among the populace. It is not one simply of cohorts. Cohorts vary by age and there are plenty of Millennials in the lower quintiles of wealth—partially because they’ve not been in the work force long enough to accumulate any sizable wealth base.

        But as posted above, some judgment can be made on future outcomes by looking at milestones. For example, debt to income at certain ages, age at first home purchase, and so forth. These measurements bode ill when compared to Boomers.

    • As a single millennial man (a rapidly increasing demographic) why would I spend all that money for a house that I don’t need? I’m not a status seeking normie. I’m fortunate enough to rent a portion of a house in a nice White neighborhood in the Chicago suburbs for $750/mo. People will whine that I’m throwing away money on rent. Oh really? If I were to hypothetically buy one of the cheaper homes in the area for $300,000 with $4,800/year property tax and a 5% interest (lets say in 2021) I’m still losing $900-1000/mo in interest on the mortgage and $400/mo for property tax not to mention insurance and maintenance. So even if I owned a home, I’m still losing $1,400-1,500/mo that is not going towards equity or my net worth. Meanwhile, I’ll just continue to rent and save the excess in a money market account earning 4%. I take no risk and have the ability to up and move at the drop of a hat. It’s all about freedom and flexibility for the unencumbered men of society.

      • Seconded. If everything is insanely inflated, why buy at the top? Deflation will happen one way or another. All deflation is, and i find it interesting that most can’t grasp this, is that the system can not support the total amount of people at current prices. Somebody has got to go 😉

  28. I love the optimism on this site. “When the SHTF then we’ll get a chance to make everything right”. “Eventually the PTB will get theirs”. “Trump will be elected, close the border and cause Republicans to grow a spine”. I love to read a good work of fiction as well as the next guy, but I like my reality to mirror what I see every day. More than likely the SHTF event will be far worse for our side than the establishment, the PTB are the PTB for a reason; too rich and powerful to ever be brought to justice this side of the grave, and before this November, Trump will either be jailed, dead, or overwhelmed in the election by the addition of as many false votes as needed. As I’ve read on this site before; get in shape, learn to blend in, take care of your family, have faith in God and yourself and enjoy the ride to the bottom as much as is possible. Oh, and if they come for you-Take as many of them with you as possible. It might make them think twice before coming after others.

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    • “Trump will be elected, close the border and cause Republicans to grow a spine”.

      Heh. I’d like know, even amongst some of the more milder minded commenters on this site, who has ever said this?!

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      • Hell, we can’t agree on whether Trump was even partially successful building “the wall”. 😉

        • Did you do something to apologize for? I must have missed it. You state a considered opinion of postings commonly read here. Most of which I remember and are reminiscent of certain posters’ themes. 😉

          I’d remark that we, as a group, are often like the “blind men” who describe the elephant they are touching, but can not “see”. All are correct in their own way. And more importantly, all bring out aspects that many of us readers may miss.

    • You’re despairing and that’s a win for them. You control you, and you can fight the despair with personal improvement. Go to the range and train yourself to hit sub MOA at 400 meters, and thereafter you won’t feel so helpless.

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      • Tom, there you go again with your call for personal improvement. Everytime I feel good and have gained a few pounds, you make me feel bad and I have to work it off. Damn scold. 😉

  29. To be fair, the entire idea of ‘The Economy’ and all of it’s various metricks and analysts desperately trying to make it into a ‘respectable science’ is rather tiresome to me. The term ‘The economy is doing bad/good’ can be unpacked in so many ways as to make it meaningless – except as a propaganda factoid fit for consumption by those who like easy answers.

    If anyone wants to know how we’re doing now, ask an older family member about their life and work? How much did they make? How many holidays did they have? Did they own a house? A car? How many kids? Did they get by on a single income. I have found that, by applying this common-sense reasoning, the people of today are in a thoroughly (materially) worse state, on-the-whole, than those of sixty years past.

    Of course, the real story is the spiritual and cultural decline, which is the most damning – but don’t worry! Still got that sweet, sweet loan for my new Mercedes I never needed! And I’m doing great.

    This is not to say that the study of economics has not merit – it is more a pointer towards very loos statements that mean nothing. But in a world where BAE Systems is thriving and your local grocery store is failing, a keener analysis is needed. Averages and other things tell us very little about the local things than affect us most – probably why they’re used.

    It’s just another big, abstract thing to focus on – all the while, Gomez and Obefemi pour in across the border and commit crimes in your neighbourhood – but that economy is doing swell!

    Lord have mercy.

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    • “Bad money pushes out good” applies to everything, not just money. Bad money (QE, 0% rates) funds bad ideas and bad people, good people take what they can and leave. I’d say that sums up where we are at currently.

    • Our power-crazed lefty asylum-seeker-loving Governor gave her state of the State speech last night. The Republican response focused on the economy. Not the flood of asylum seekers swamping the state, eating up all the affordable housing. Not the gay-porn books in school libraries. Not the gender-affirming care edicts for kids. Not the right of guy trannies to pee with the girls… No. They talked about the economy. Cowards.

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      • Stop printing money and let things fail and all those things will go away. One is the disease, the others are just symptoms. They’ve been debasing the currency in the open since the 70’s. Think of our culture since then………..

          • At this point, that is fine. If it brings us back to reality, lets see who is still standing when the rubble clears.

  30. Propaganda usually works. In a polity as saturated with curated Regime press releases as the United States is, that tends to be particularly true. Inflation is practically impossible to spin, though, since as you mention everyone who buys things–the vast majority–sees prices unfiltered. Sen. Elizabeth Warren took a stab at it with “Big Grocery,” and while she is a particularly bad liar, that dog would not hunt for Bill Clinton.

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  31. Yea it’s a shit sandwich when I made more than the year before but have less in my pocket at the end of the day…

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  32. “Put another way, debt-driven government growth not only corrupts the nation but it corrupts the way in which we can measure the corruption.”

    Exactly. Part of the “long con” by the Regime is the fetishization of the GDP statistics. Borrow/print money, spend money on war, grifters and illegal immigrants – none of which helps our standard of living – lie about inflation and magically, Real GDP increases. Rachel Maddow gets on TV and tells you the economy is great!

    It’s just axiomatic, given the massive government debt we have, that inflation is going to run hot for the rest of our lives. This inflation will devalue the savings of the rubes, lower real SS and pension costs and keep this sh*tshow going for a while longer.

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    • Even the best case scenario with GDP it’s like taking all the daily high and low temperatures from the past year from all over the country and averaging it all into one number. I mean, it tells you something, just nothing important. Add in to that the number is probably bogus then it tells us less than nothing.

      • Yes it’s like BMI lol.
        It can be all muscle and manufacturing and investment.
        Or it can be fat – gibs, fried chicken and warfare.

  33. Yet another problem explained with simplicity and clarity, and the root culprit is once again the corrupted bureaucrats in DC who play fast and loose with their official duties and solely serve the political interests of their patron politicians. The new slogan is “They hate us” and couldn’t care less if we object or complain because they have the power and they are not accountable for their malfeasance. And nothing will change until the environment changes.

    Some hue to the delusion that someday voting harder will produce a messiah and lead us to the promised land. Kick the can, ignore vote fraud, muddle through, and crack open another beer on the couch. Fat ass is and fat ass does, and only a collapse can motivate real change. Which opens the door of opportunity to actually do something tangible and effective. A lot of people are chomping at the bit in anticipation of the day of reckoning, but we must wait for the fog in order to possess the element of surprise. Spontaneity is a potent thing.

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  34. “The typical American has barely noticed that it requires two incomes to have the life that used to be possible on a single income, at least for the middle-class.”

    He or she probably does notice that his or her parents, or rather grandparents, were part of a single-income household and that the standard of living, the quality of life, and job security were better than today. Peak per capita earnings probably occurred around 1971. Now even two incomes cannot match that one income from 1971. The last I saw (about 15 years back) was that the two incomes were about 15% less than the one income from 1971, and one income was around 59% less.

    “The relative material prosperity came at the cost of social capital.”

    Call me jaundiced but I don’t see that relative prosperity. The only item I can see that has come down in price over the years is electronics and the software that accompanies it.

    I think the top ten or fifteen per cent of the population is managing to keep its head above water. The rest of us seem to be slowly drowning. The regime has no fix save to rig the numbers for inflation, unemployment, and “growth.” It reminds me of when the chocolate ration gets decreased to 20 grams in Orwell’s Oceania and the regime trumpets on how it just got increased to 20 grams.

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    • Not only one income but generally that one income was supporting an actual family, with multiple children. Of course, keeping up with the Joneses has always been a thing, but the consumer propaganda was far less insidious back then.

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      • keeping up with the Joneses

        I’ll see those generic complaints about intergenerational costs, but left unsaid is the fact that I could probably only get a barn with the same specs that my parent’s home had when they bought it (single pane windows, cheap, no-ground wiring, no a/c, etc.). Yes the regime has made many (many) things way more expensive than they should be, but still, a big chunk of those intergenerational costs is the lack of desire to live like the previous generation.

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        • “a big chunk of those intergenerational costs is the lack of desire to live like the previous generation.”

          The previous generations lived in all-white neighborhoods. Now, if you buy a smaller, cheaper house, your neighborhood will soon be overrun with diversity. Compton used to be a pretty nice place to live. Not anymore.

          Part of the reason Americans overspend on houses is to avoid the joys of diversity. Many, I believe, would gladly live in a smaller, less expensive house if the neighborhood was well kept and free of crime.

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          • Part of the reason Americans overspend on houses is to avoid the joys of diversity.

            Especially Leftists. They do so love to be far from the consequences of their “BLM” yard signs.

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          • Winter: Solid point and a generally agree, but I also have give points to the contrarian argument. I know what we dealt with selling our house, renting for son and daughter-in-law, and back when I used to peruse online house shows and now skim online comment threads.

            Most women – even those who will not/cannot boil water – want a gleaming, designer kitchen. They need a separate craft room and an enormous closet and guest room. They want more bedrooms and bathrooms for their 1.38 kids than families of 8 used to be grateful to have.

            I am not arguing that we can nor should attempt to underlive Juan, but neither need we aspire to live like Wei Ming and her tech worker husband who somehow cannot make it on $200k a year. Eating out all the time and buying gourmet pet food and having a premium gym membership costs big bucks. Not to mention college for all regardless of ability or income.

            That lifestyle does genuinely account for many of the people complaining about the increased cost of living. The other half are normal people in flyover country who are genuinely being squeezed to death.

            Fwiw, I cook a lot, and am managing in a kitchen about 1/4 the size of what I used to have, and with 1 instead of 3 bathrooms. Yes, we’d like more space when/if we can afford to build it, but in the meanwhile we have the necessities of life (not to mention lots of land and animals and very few people) and that is sufficient for us.

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          • Replying to 3g4me:

            Two of us home chefs here. My wife dislikes cooking and is a true clutz (an academic prodigy who may have lived off library paste) and so she doesn’t belong in the kitchen. At potlucks and other events I am complimented with “you must like to cook.” I reply truthfully that while I don’t mind cooking, and I have been a label-reader/food extremist for more than 30 years from back when I training as an athlete, I certainly do like to eat.

            Just wanted to acknowledge we have an appreciation of food in common. Wish I could grow my own beyond tomatoes and beets.

          • Compton was not only “pretty nice” but was where George Bush grew up.

            Next generation, it’s where Ice Cube (born loser who “made it out the ghetto” before he finished high school via a freakish artistic gift) came from, along with tens of thousands of black criminal losers. The nice little old-California houses in Boyz N The Hood are the ruins they lived (and shot each other) in.

            Now it’s a Central American child brothel that white people can’t afford to re-gentrify.

            Progress.

      • Other than health care costs, a family can still live on one income just as well as they did in the 1950s <if they are willing to have a 1950s standard of living.

        One car, one rotary phone, one black and white tv, no cable or streaming, no computers, no microwave or other kitchen gadgets, no stereos, quite likely no AC, no cruises or European vacations, perhaps a trip to the state park with the pop up camper, not much packaged or prepared food, most things made “from scratch,” eating out perhaps twice a month tops, if that, this list could become endless

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        • “Other than health care costs, a family can still live on one income just as well as they did in the 1950s <if they are willing to have a 1950s standard of living."

          This may be true, but how do we ignore health care costs? If you buy your health insurance on the open market, it will cost you over $2,400 a month for a family of three. If you don't have health insurance, you will be financially wiped out by your first major illness or accident — unless of course, you're an illegal or welfare recipient, in which case your care will be provided for free or at a greatly reduced rate.

          I know plenty of people who need that second income just to get health insurance, usually as part of their employment package.

          • Which is why I advocate for our guys to get into certain trades so their insurance is payed by the companies they work for…

        • Jeffrey Zoar — Just for the record, I didn’t downvote you. You made some good points even I don’t believe we can ignore the outrageous costs of health care.

          • I gave Jeffrey a second down vote just for “shits and giggles”.

            Down votes don’t mean a thing. 🙂

    • The Chicago my parents moved to in the ’60’s MADE things. Everyone with a bit of gumption in the Midwest moved there.
      Schwin bicycles;
      Sears;
      Montgomery Ward;
      Bally pinball and arcade machines;
      Candy companies up the wazoo;
      Typewriters and adding machines;
      Lincoln Logs;
      Motorola radios (later, cell phones);
      Zenith TV’s;
      First Chicago Bank, Harris Bank, LaSalle Bank, Continental Bank.
      ALL GONE.
      Now what is Chicago known for? An obese trust fund governor, freak show mayors, illegal aliens, car jacking and murder.

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  35. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. I personally know a healthy family of three whose health insurance just went up 20% to over $2,400 a month. It’s a basic, no-frills silver plan, which is now costing them $30,000 a year before they ever see a doctor or get a prescription filled.

    These are not wealthy people, even though they are conveniently too “rich” to qualify for any subsidies, even as illegals and welfare recipients belly up for free/subsidized medical care.

    Who can afford this? Our government punishes people who actually work and pay taxes while they reward sloths and foreign invaders. It’s madness.

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  36. When my wife and I decided to move north out of the suburbs into the mountains, I sold my BMW and bought a used car: a Prius for my now two-hour commute four days per week. I also upgraded my truck to handle the possibility of winter weather and we also paved our long drive from the main road to ensure we could get out of our mountain retreat.

    I bought the Prius for a song during the so-called pandemic, but now, that car with 200k miles is worth $15k, which is absurd.

    I have people offering insane amounts of money for my Tundra, which is nearly 15 years old.

    The car market was warped by the huge drop in prices during the “pandemic,” and the absurd supply chain-driven price jumps and now it’s about to implode. Banks can’t lend money to dealers to refresh inventories since they’re taking a bath at auction on repos, especially on luxury marques. Rates are keeping consumers from buying these overpriced cars on dealer lots.

    When the car loan market goes south, the economy will go with it.

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      • I have one of those as well. An old one I bought that has no electronic gimcrackery. There’s just something wonderful about filling your tractor with diesel and putting it to work.

        • Explain to me then why you would need a paved driveway to be able to get out of your place…I live in the mountains that are a lot bigger than where you are at and my gravel driveway works just fine…

      • It’s really not that bad until I hit the traffic closer to town. I don’t commute to downtown, so I avoid the worst of the gridlock. I listen to podcasts and classical music and it’s actually pretty relaxing. The Prius is a fine commuter car, quiet, peppy in traffic and it rides very smoothly. It’s only issue is that it is a bit too quiet and can put you to sleep.

        The nice thing is when I get home, there is no diversity where I live.

        Where I lived before there were a couple of carjackings and that was in a pretty nice suburban enclave that unfortunately is becoming a red dot in a sea of diversity.

        The worst thing you have to deal with is running into a deer on one of our winding mountain roads.

        On Fridays, I cook breakfast for my kids and spend some time with them.

        I also have another two-hour drive in a different direction when I’m needed at our company’s other facility. That one has no traffic and is totally winding mountain roads.

    • There’s a guy on YouTube who simply visits the car lots on Sunday and comments on the prices and stocking of the lots. He’s done this for quite a time now and his observations track the economy.

      He’s right in with your observations, the car makers have committed suicide. He points out Ford F150 trucks going upwards from $50k+ to $70k+. As a women talking to him in a lot said, “… the F150 is a “workmen’s truck”, who the hell who works can afford this?”

  37. I don’t think I live in an area where the inflation is as bad as some other areas so prices have gone up at the grocery store but not crazy but I did go have lunch with some people yesterday. Bacon cheeseburger with fries $17.99. Wow.

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    • One good thing, I suppose, is that now fast junk food is expensive as preparing your own healthy food or eating in a decent sit-down restaurant. $18 for a burger and fries is obscene.

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    • That just happened to me, and I eat fast food infrequently enough that I know exactly how long it’s been. Same burger, same brand, same location: 400% price increase since early fall 2017. Not 400% price. +400%.

      The left/government has a meme, one of their only two successful ones (in the internet sense), that bourgeois (anyone not ruling class or on food stamps) complaints about inflation are toddler tantrum tears over having their “treats”—fast food and what righties call goyslop—taken away, not the cries of an ever more immiserated underclass who remember having much better living standards just a few years ago.

      Mocking those people is what the left—the “real” left who call themselves socialists and talk about Hegel and shit—is *about*. Nothing else, ever. No exceptions.

      Their other successful meme—both of these come from ONE GUY, by the way, Matt Christman, who unfortunately survived his recent likely vaxx-induced stroke—is “chud,” a B horror movie reference equating proles and prole-symps to mutant sewer monsters.

      They have ONE GUY.

  38. household debt is getting worse by all reports so we can see it plainly there because borrowing is added to the calculation.
    anyone know if the government includes their borrowing or currency printing??

  39. When we studied the GD depression circa 12 years old, I asked my 1909-born Grandpa what it was like to live thru it. He said:
    I just got up and went to work everyday.

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    • Lot of people said the same thing about WW2 and other world events. These geniuses like to think they’ve figured out something about life the rest of us haven’t, because life left them alone. Hubris.

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      • I understood it as meaning that the depression / war wasn’t ever-present. The movies make it look like there were bread lines everywhere and nobody had work and that the war was never-ending bombardment and fights in the streets. In reality, most of the time, for most people, day-to-day life was relatively normal.
        Just some perspective.

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  40. Here in Europe, we keep hearing the US economy is going great. Not sure I believe it given the corporate media in the US, just like here in Europe, is not to be trusted.

    One of the reasons I tend to follow this blog is you and your readers are able to get past the media “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

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    • 2023 was the worst year for tech startups ever (in the US). That included some $1 billion+ businesses. Kind of like an echo of the 2000 dot-com bubble, but mostly in “private” market.

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      • By my read, every commercial real estate office loan which matured in Chicago in 2023 failed to refinance (ie: defaulted).
        Not exactly true: one smaller office tower, owned by some dumb-ass Ohio government pension fund, paid off their loan in cash.

        • It’s obvious the vitality in the Loop is substantially reduced from Y2000. They’ve added some activity by converting offices into condos and apartment rentals.

          Many businesses simply didn’t renew their office leases, they didn’t necessarily default. They relocated outside the former core business distirict.

          So in part what we’re now seeing is a reverse commute. Young and old live in the downtown with its amenities. They commute to the outer limits, ‘burbs and even collar counties. They return home around 7:30 and walk their dogs. The sidewalks are covered by dog waste whereas this was never a thing until ten years ago.

          Defaults are likely lower than you’re interpreting. Office rents are sky high, though. Building owners are betting businesses will return apparently.

    • Certainly better than Germany, but then again we didn’t have our energy supplies blown up by one of our “allies”.

      The problem is the wild debt issuance is kinda keeping the plates in the air, but the interest expenses are making the plates wobble.

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      • I’m sure with personal credit card interest anywhere between 18%-24%, and given the number of people living pay check to paycheck, that’s not helping.

        At least in Germany, while we complain about higher prices, most Germans have very high levels of savings and almost no credit card debt.

        Fun fact, the German word for debt is “schuld” which is the same as the German word for “guilt”. We have enough national schuld from the past without adding to it in our present personal finances.

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        • That is why we look so good here in the USA. Folks living above their means due to the old credit card. Don’t believe a thing you see until you find out their indebtedness—I know, an impossible task on a one to one basis. However, there are government stat’s that show the amount of credit card debt (as well as other types) and that continues to grow to record amounts each new report.

        • Hasn’t Germany done the vendor finance scheme though where they buy debt from other European countries so that they’ll buy German “stuff”? That’s always been the accusation. “We have no debt” works until the Italians can’t pay and all your banks will blow up if the Italian debt isn’t changed over to German debt. (I mean, if that’s the case).

          • I can’t speak to the business of buying pubic debt. But on the individual level, the average German has almost no debt (other than a mortgage or possibly a car).

            Credit cards are no a “thing” for the average consumer. For almost all transactions, if you see a German use a card, it’s a bank debit card and funds are drawn directly off their bank account, no onto a credit card account.

            Germans are not consumers on the level that Americans, or even the French, are. We’re not trying to keep up with the Schmitds!

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