Wednesday morning I checked the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and it was down just over triple digits. It stayed underwater all the way through lunch too. Then, miraculously, about 1:30 pm, it took off like a rocket, swinging 350 pts to the upside, closing over 200 pts in the black.
Now I knew what caused it. I keep up with such things. The FOMC (The Fed) had just released their vague do nothing statement. They removed one measly little word. They removed the word, “patient”, meaning that they want us to think that they are going to begin to increase interest rates in the near future. This was meant to signal that all is right with the economy and that there is nothing but sunny spring days and tiptoeing through the tulips as far as the eye can see into the future for the U.S. economy.
Is this capitalism? Should markets be hanging on the every word of unelected bankers about whether or not they will arbitrarily raise interest rates? Why does the Fed play such a large role in the economy? Because free markets are dead in America, that’s why.
Gone are the days when we actually looked at hard data. You know, things like the labor participation rate. Instead of looking at the phony government numbers that are built on new applications for unemployment insurance (which tell us nothing) , why not look at how many available workers are working. This tells us a far greater tale, and the story is bleak. Near all-time lows. Great Depression era lows. Or, how about they tell us how many of these new jobs being created are minimum wage and/or part time.
Truth be told, we know for a fact that about 90% of the good full time jobs created since 2010 were in the oil fields of North Dakota and Texas. We also know that oil rig leases are down, and that shale producers cannot be profitable at 50.00 a barrel oil, and that lay-offs have already begun. We know that the fourth quarter 2014 Christmas sales were abysmal, and that first quarter numbers are down as well in retail sales, wholesale orders, housing, commodities (the stuff it takes to make stuff), etc. We also know that the big jump in GDP in the third quarter last year were Obamacare costs coming online in the market. In other words, all that new money changing hands was coming out of workers’ pockets and going into state and federal healthcare exchanges.
So yes, Americans did spend more…. on healthcare, not cars, TVs, and restaurants. No magical Keynesian aggregate spending boost. Just plain old fashion inflation. The kind not reported by the government inflation numbers, which exclude food, energy, healthcare, and everything else in the average American’s home budget.
If we were living in a real economy, we would see wages rise against inflation, not fall, as they have done for 40 years now. If we were living in a real economy, the free market would set the “rent on money” (interest rates) according to the rules of competition. Savers would be able to save and earn a decent return for the lease of their capital (interest on savings). Banks would loan out the money that they receive through deposits. Banks would have strict credit standards so as not to lose their depositors’ money in bad loans. Banks would go out of business when they were reckless, and businesses would too. The market would clear bad debts, reallocate capital more efficiently, and actually recover from bad decisions. Unlike today, where we kick the can down the road for our children to pay the piper.
Where are the adults? Where are the responsible men and women in the halls of power? Drunk on it, likely. Neutered. Too busy scratching the itch of some group or another. Having cocktail parties, joking about us sloped-forehead, knuckle-dragging morons out here in the real world paying the price for their cowardice and avarice.
When markets swing violently on the words of Janet Yellen and a private banking cartel, know that the end is nigh. Know that capitalism is dead. And that it took government collusion with those bankers to kill it.
So, when your family suffers in the near future, blame the whole lot of them. Democrats and Republicans alike. Politicians, bankers, and lobbyists. And if we get the opportunity to make a change, choose individual freedom and free markets over the “fatal conceit” of an economy planned in the back rooms of Congress, the Treasury Department, and international banks.
Remember, it was individuals unfettered and far removed from the King of England that allowed the colonies of the New World to become prosperous. Same for Australia. Criminals given the ability to work, own land, and save, far removed from the British Parliament and it’s many laws and taxes, were able to escape poverty and even flourish in extremely harsh environment.
Fifty years ago, Hong Kong and Singapore were impoverished nations, yet today they are the freest and most prosperous nations in the world.
Just in case you still thought this was the land of the free and the home of the brave, let me tell you that we are the land of the 18th most-free, and bravery, if Washington is any reflection, is all but lost.