Closing Thought–17May19

We are in a war of words and deeds…a trade war….with China….Our Beloved Supreme Leader went on the Tube and soothed the ruffled feathers on Wall Street and the markets calmed down a bit…..but how about the rest of us unwashed masses that do not depend on Wall Street for our wealth?

Me? I do not shop on 5th Avenue so I want to know how I will fare with Trump’s mash up with China…..

Walmart warned on Thursday that higher tariffs on imports from China will mean higher prices, the AP reports. The comments came after the nation’s largest retailer reported its best sale performance at its established US namesake stores for the fiscal first quarter in nine years. It marked 19 straight quarters of same-store sales gains. “We’re monitoring the tariff discussions and are hopeful that an agreement can be reached,” said Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs. But he told reporters, “Increased tariffs will lead to increased prices for our customers.” Walmart declined to comment on what type of price hikes shoppers could expect and which products would get the biggest increases.

The specter of higher prices was also echoed by Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette. He told investors Wednesday that if a fourth round of tariffs takes effect, that could mean higher retail prices for both store label and national brands. Target, JC Penney, and other major retailers will be reporting results in the next few days and should shed more light on the issue. Walmart, Macy’s and other major retailers have been left largely unscathed by the first several rounds of tariffs since they focused more on industrial and agricultural products. But that changed last week when the Trump administration slapped 25% tariffs on imports like furniture. The administration wants to extend the 25% tariffs to practically all Chinese imports not already hit with levies including toys, shirts, household goods and sneakers.

While Wall Street smiles the rest of us get raped……well our wallets to be exact……not what I signed on for…..

You?

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Tariffs…..Tariffs…..We All Fall Down

Of all the shiny objects that Trump and his lackeys throw out for the news to digest…tariffs is the biggest one for his supporters and our economy…….

I heard a report that advisers in the Whote House aren scrambling to explain the markets to this president…..

Seriously?

A “really smart person” and a graduate of the Wharton School of Business (the second most prestigious school of business) needs someone to explain the economics?  Did he sleep through that class at Wharton?

Let me help his supporters for they are wrapping themselves around a LIE.

How simple can I go?

A tariff is a TAX……how’s that for simple?

A tariff is a tax on goods coming into or leaving a country. That tax might be an ad valorem tax, which is a fixed percentage of the product’s price from time to time, or a specific tax that stays the same no matter what happens to the product’s price. Either way, the aim of import tariffs is to stop cheap goods from coming into the country from overseas and stealing market share of domestic producers. In this sense, tariffs are a form of protectionism, imposed to save industries that are especially vulnerable to competition from overseas.

I have tried to make it simple for people to understand tariffs and their results……

https://lobotero.com/2019/05/10/as-tariffs-come-and-go/

I am not so sure that Trump economic policies were the result of Trump economics……tariffs are proof for me…..they will bring the “surging” economy to a screeching halt.

Stupid is as stupid does!

A couple of idiotic statements from this group of mental midgets……

As the US-China trade war continues to rage, President Trump is not only defending the hugely disruptive effect it is having on the global economy, but promising that the “great patriot farmers” of America would reap the rewards when the US ultimately won the trade war.

Trump promised that the US government would compensate farmers for any losses they suffer from the tariffs, and suggested China would pay for that compensation in the form of the higher tariffs they are paying for the US allowing them “to do business with us.”

Trump’s promises to the farmers are likely driven by the political reality of the situation. Farmers heavily backed Trump’s election, and the trade war has heavily hurt their exports to China, as retaliatory sanctions have left them increasingly noncompetitive on the market.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was a lot more comfortable with US farmers suffering in the trade war. Cotton insisted the hardship for them was “minimal,” and that China would suffer more than America would, suggesting that made it worth it.

Cotton further said that the hardships borne by American farmers was nothing compared to the sacrifices made by US soldiers in various wars overseas.

(antiwar.com)

Very smart?  MY ASS!

Trump’s lie that this is just a squabble with China seem to have soothed the feathers of Wall Street……markets are a bit more stable…..

Maybe he is smart….smart enough to know that a LIE will tamp down any opposition to Trump’s mash up with China.

Closing Thought–10May19

Keeping with the economic trend I started a couple of posts ago……

Have you filed your taxes yet?  Did you get a refund?

I have filed and I had to pay.

What about the rest of America?

I mean us real people not those stiff criminals that we call the top 1%.

Did those lovely tax cuts that Trump gave the country benefit the rest of us or were the benefits for his rich buddies?

A new six-month analysis of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts details how workers received little benefit from the plan, despite the savings many of their powerful corporate employers received.

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) interviewed independent tax analysts and officials who were involved in the Republican Party’s effort to sell the so-called American Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to the public—and within their own party ranks. Progressive critics have consistently called the law nothing nothing more than a “tax scam.”

The GOP’s insistence on a tax law which included the largest corporate tax cut in U.S. history—from 35 to 21 percent—resulted in companies saving about $150 billion in the first year after the passage in December 2017.

Trump and then-House Speaker Paul Ryan had spent months telling Americans they stood to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in taxes, with Trump telling one crowd that the average family would see a pay raise of about $4,000, a benefit that would “trickle down” from employers’ corporate tax cuts.

 
This tax policy has done nothing to end the inequality that this country has been plaguing the country for decades……in reality everything we were told about the benefits of the Trump tax cuts was a LIE!
 
If the “economy” is doing so well then why are there no movements in the Middle Class?  As a matter of fact the Middle Class is diminishing every year sinc e the 1990s.
 
And this economy is so good it is making most American miserable……
 
After running a campaign on the idea that America was an impoverished wasteland, Donald Trump has spent his presidency bragging about the economic expansion that began under Barack Obama but continued under him. Though he might be a glutton for credit, Trump isn’t wrong, exactly, when he celebrates the “record economy” in his tweets: Unemployment in the United States is at a 50-year low, the stock market is soaring, and GDP is growing at a brisk clip. Polls have found that people are confident in the state of the economy.
 
 
And yet Americans buy the crap and the lies EVERY TIME!
 
WHY?
 
Lear Stuff!
 
Then VOTE!
 
I want to start my weekend….the ‘honey dos’ are considerable….but with luck it will rain and they will have to wait….(he said with crossed fingers)…….

As Tariffs Come And Go

Is that the sound of brakes being applied to this “surging economy”?

Trump once called himself , well he has called himself many things none of which are accurate but this time he was close, “Tariff Man”…..as of midnight a 25% tariff was placed on some Chinese imports.

The trade war is heating up: China said Friday it “deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures” after the tariff hikes threatened by President Trump kicked in at 12:01am. American and Chinese negotiators met in Washington, DC, Thursday but were unable to reach a deal to prevent tariffs increasing from 10% to 25% on more than $200 billion in products China exports to the US, the Washington Post reports. The White House said that after a “working dinner,” chief US negotiator Robert Lighthizer and China’s Vice Premier Liu He “agreed to continue discussions.” The tariff hike only applies to products that left China after the deadline, which gives negotiators more time to work out a deal.

Trump said Thursday that he had received a “beautiful letter” from China’s President Xi Jinping and while a deal is still possible, he is pleased that tariffs are bringing in “billions” of dollars for the government, the New York Times reports. The tariffs, however, are paid by American importers, who pass the costs on to the consumer. “It’s going to be a big shock to the economy,” Deborah Elms, executive director at the Asian Trade Center, tells the BBC. “Those are all US companies who are suddenly facing a 25% increase in cost, and then you have to remember that the Chinese are going to retaliate.” Despite the escalating trade dispute, world markets rose on Friday, with analysts predicting that a deal will be reached.

A Tariff?

How many Americans can define this economic tact?

No need for Google (but if you want to check my assertions then head to that magic button) the old professor will be glad to help with your refresher course.

What is a TARIFF?

The simple definition….. A tariff is a tax imposed by one country on the goods and services imported from another country.

How do Tariffs work?

Governments may impose tariffs to raise revenue or to protect domestic industries—especially nascent ones—from foreign competition. By making foreign-produced goods more expensive, tariffs can make domestically produced alternatives seem more attractive. Governments that use tariffs to benefit particular industries often do so to protect companies and jobs. Tariffs can also be used as an extension of foreign policy: Imposing tariffs on a trading partner’s main exports is a way to exert economic leverage.

Tariffs can turn into what some called a trade war…….

Tariffs can have unintended side effects, however. They can make domestic industries less efficient and innovative by reducing competition. They can hurt domestic consumers, since a lack of competition tends to push up prices. They can generate tensions by favoring certain industries, or geographic regions, over others. For example, tariffs designed to help manufacturers in cities may hurt consumers in rural areas who do not benefit from the policy and are likely to pay more for manufactured goods. Finally, an attempt to pressure a rival country by using tariffs can devolve into an unproductive cycle of retaliation,

But to help your education I have included a couple of short videos…..

One side effect that could come back to bite Trump in his massive ass is a bad jobs number and tariffs will produce that in most cases……

The tariffs will “drive down exports, and suppress job gains for the industry by as much as 400,000 over 10 years. It will also invite China to hit back at American businesses, farmers, communities, and families,” said Kip Eideberg, vice president of government affairs for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, which represents more than 1,000 U.S. makers of farm, construction and mining machinery.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-10/u-s-equipment-makers-see-trump-tariff-hike-costing-400-000-jobs

This is a TAX….do you get that? It is a TAX on the rest of us mere mortals…..then why is the entire GOP down with this attack on tax policies?

This is just a game to this president….he is trying to do something he promised so he has more to run on than his shaky positions elsewhere.

Hopefully his supporters are reading…..these tariffs are a TAX on you and your family.

Got IT!

Learn Stuff!

Then GO VOTE!

But The Economy Is Surging!

This one situation could give Trump a second term….the “surging economy”……the jobs report is good, GDP is fair to partly cloudy, and the markets are doing well with a few hiccups here and there…..

But when we hear the economy is surging….what do they mean by the economy?

Best answer is…..An economy is the large set of inter-related production and consumption activities that aid in determining how scarce resources are allocated. This is also known as an economic system.

But Wages are flat! Inflation….real inflation not that piece of crap that the government uses to fool the crap out of his mortals, is getting higher. I mean how can you figure inflation without using energy, food and medicine in the equation? When we do we get a false indication of “good times”…..

The report of the surging economy is bullsh*t…..a bunch of manure spread by the MSM and the government to give us all some silly “feel good” moment……

Recent economic reports have President Donald Trump crowing.

The big headline numbers do sound encouraging. The unemployment rate is down to 3.6%, the lowest since 1969. Average earnings are finally outpacing inflation, the stock market has been hitting record highs, and the first quarter of 2019 had the fastest annualized growth rate (3.2%) since 2015.

And yet most of the gains from our growing economy are still going to those who least need a boost. Stock market rallies, for example, further concentrate wealth among the very richest Americans. The top 1% of Americans own more than half of stocks and mutual funds. The bottom 90% own just 7%.

For ordinary Americans, the slight uptick in wages is not enough to make up for many years of stagnation. Average hourly pay rose just 6 cents in April 2019 and 4 cents the month before that.

 
I mentioned “inflation” earlier…..Here is an explanation of inflation…..
 
 
Then there are those “glowing” jobs reports….we hear about them for days after the report comes monthly……but what about those jobs reports?

While the Current Establishment Survey (CES) Report (covering large businesses) shows 263,000 jobs created last month, the Current Population Survey (CPS) second Labor Dept. report (that covers smaller businesses) shows 155,000 of these jobs were involuntary part time. This high proportion (155,000 of 263,000) suggests the job creation number is likely second and third jobs being created. Nor does it reflect actual new workers being newly employed. The number is for new jobs, not newly employed workers. Moreover, it’s mostly part time and temp or low paid jobs, likely workers taking on second and third jobs.

Even more contradictory, the second CPS report shows that full time work jobs actually declined last month by 191,000. (And the month before, March, by an even more 228,000 full time jobs decline).

Ask yourself…is your family better off today than it was 2 years ago……if the answer is NO then you are not part of the reported “Surging Economy”….
 
The economy will be key to the Trump 2020 campaign…that and some crap about socialism…..Dems need to find a way to counter his message or face the consequences…..

Many in the mainstream media are telling us that the “good economy” favors Trump in 2020, and the Democrats are mostly mum on the subject, with Nancy Pelosi and the neoliberals hoping an anti-Trump campaign will win the day in the next election.

But simply running against Trump won’t work.  Democrats have to refute the myth of a “good economy,” then talk about what they’re for, what their values are, and what they are going to do for the American people. Sadly, the party’s leadership seems loathe to advocate progressive values, and incapable of explaining why the economy isn’t so great.

The reason an anti-Trump campaign won’t work is because the 2020 election will be determined by turnout. Anything less than 60 percent risks a Trump victory; and failing to embrace the progressive values embraced by the majority of Americans will likely keep turnout below that.

 
Learn Stuff!
 
Then VOTE!
 
If you will vote with your pocketbook then ask yourself that simple question….and pick a candidate and vote accordingly.

‘Caravan’ Heads North!

OMG! The brown people are coming….again!  (and that is how you do ‘sarcasm’)

WE all know about the now infamous ‘caravan’ that was making it’s way through Mexico….it was a driving issue for Trump and the GOP in 2018.  Just an exaggerated attempt to foment hate and fear…..

But sadly I cannot join in the total bullshit of those immigrants looking for a better life……but I might consider joining a ‘caravan’…..and head North.

A “caravan” of Americans living with Type 1 diabetes made its way across the U.S. border into Canada over the weekend in search of affordable medical care in a country where they can get the “exact same” life-saving drugs for a dramatically lower price. 

“We’re on a #CaravanToCanada because the USA charges astronomical prices for insulin that most people can’t afford,” tweeted caravan member Quinn Nystrom as she shared updates on the journey. 

Nystrom was among a group of Minnesotans who piled into cars on Friday to make the 600-mile journey from the Twin Cities to Fort Frances, Ontario, where she said insulin, the hormone patients with Type 1 Diabetes rely on to regulate their blood glucose levels, can be bought for a tenth of what it costs in the U.S. 

https://www.newsweek.com/caravan-americans-crossing-canadian-border-get-affordable-medical-care-1417582

And the Trump has an answer for high drug prices……

Those ever-present TV ads for prescription drugs will soon reveal prices, too, the nation’s top health official said Wednesday, responding to a public outcry for government action to restrain medication costs. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the Trump administration has finalized regulations that will require drug companies to disclose list prices of medications costing more than $35 for a month’s supply. “What I say to the companies is if you think the cost of your drug will scare people from buying your drugs, then lower your prices,” Azar said. “Transparency for American patients is here.” The AP has standout details and reaction:

  • Drug companies responded that adding prices to their commercials could unintentionally harm patients. “We are concerned that the administration’s rule requiring list prices in direct-to-consumer television advertising could be confusing for patients and may discourage them from seeking needed medical care,” said a statement from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main trade group.
  • But one major firm—Johnson & Johnson—has already announced it will disclose the cost of its blood thinner Xarelto in TV advertising.
  • Drug pricing details are expected to appear in text toward the end of commercials, when potential side effects are disclosed. TV viewers should notice the change later this year, perhaps as early as the summer.
  • The disclosure requirement will not apply to print or radio ads for the foreseeable future. It covers all brand name drugs covered by Medicare and Medicaid, which is nearly all medications.
  • The government is hoping that patients armed with prices will start discussing affordability with their doctors, and gradually that will put pressure on drugmakers to keep costs in check.
  • According to the latest government figures, the 10 most commonly advertised drugs have prices ranging from $488 to $16,938 per month or for a usual course of therapy.
  • Although most patients do not pay the full list prices that will be included in ads, experts say those prices are still important. They’re the starting point for negotiations between drugmakers and insurers. Also, copays that patients face are often based on list prices. And many people who have high-deductible insurance plans pay list prices for medications because their insurance doesn’t start covering until patients have spent several thousand dollars of their own money.

This is a truly sad situation….that Americans have to resort to this….especially since we have the best health care in the world (another sarcasm)……

Why do I not feel confident that my insulin will be cheaper with this plan.

If you want to have good health care….then I suggest you check into Medicare For All…..Medicare X is a cop-out.

Learn Stuff!

Then go VOTE!

Money Laundering

I read where there might be some form of money laundering in the “Report”……so in keeping with my efforts I present an FYI post……

With all the horrible legal news that the president has been getting lately the one that may be the most damaging if proven to be true is “money laundering”…

This is not some accident where you cash goes through the wash cycle…..nope…this is a crime punishable by lots of prison time.

Bloomberg has shown how this crime is done……

You’re a Russian criminal with millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains but one big problem: Transferring slugs of money or carrying suitcases of cash will raise eyebrows. You need to “launder” the dough — make the dirty money appear to be the proceeds of legitimate enterprise. Then it can be spent anywhere in the world — say, on real estate or luxury yachts — no questions asked. Most countries and all the world’s major banks have controls in place to flag suspicious funds coming into the financial system. But as shown by the so-called Troika Laundromat scandal and the probes roiling European banks, bad actors come up with innovative ways to skirt the rules.

Hiding under shell companies

Deliberately opaque “shell” companies, which exist only on paper and have no active business operations, are easy and cheap to set up and effective at obscuring ownership. They’re key to what experts call the “layering phase” of money laundering, in which funds are shoveled around multiple times to make them harder to track. Shell companies are commonly found in traditional tax havens such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, but the U.S. states of Delaware and Nevada also permit corporations to be set up in anonymity. The international consortium of journalists that uncovered the Troika Laundromat scheme says it involved at least 75 shell companies that generated a total of $8.8 billion in transactions through made-up deals. There’s been a global push for more transparency, even in the U.K., whose crown dependencies include Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-09/money-to-launder-here-s-how-hint-find-a-bank-quicktake

And that is how it is done!  One does not be a rocket scientist to be able to achieve success.

Learn Stuff!