THE BIG LIES GET BIGGER

31 comments

Posted on 13th August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP. The government apparatchiks, corporate media propagandists, and the Wall Street shysters assured the masses that the negative GDP in the 1st quarter and dreadful retail sales were solely the result of harsh winter weather, as if the weather in the winter is ever good. They were absolutely unequivocally sure that retail sales would soar once Spring arrived.

The thing about retail sales is they aren’t lost. If you are snowed in for a few days and can’t buy that new pair of shoes, they’ll be there next week. The reality is if poor retail sales are really the result of weather, there is pent up demand that will be satisfied when the weather improves. In addition, harsh winter weather should increase the sales of items used to deal with harsh winter weather, shovels, salt, winter coats, long johns, etc.

So here we are in July. Retail sales have been essential flat for the last three months. There has been no rebound. There has been no surge. When inflation is taken into consideration, real retail sales are falling. But still the stock market rises. It rises because it has nothing to do with reality. The average American is far poorer today than they were at the depths of the recession in 2009. Real wages continue to fall, despite the bullshit about a jobs recovery.

The shit dumped by the media and the government is so deep, you need hip boots to wade through it. The reality is the .1% have been enriched by the Federal Reserve at the expense of the 99.9%. Retail sales will continue to stagnate, as the prices for energy, food, healthcare, tuition, clothing, and services rise relentlessly, along with taxes from local, state, and federal governments.

The oligarchs are using the exact same game plan that blew up in 2008 – dole out gobs of consumer debt (auto, student) and try to convince the ignorant masses they are wealthier because they are driving a new GMC Yukon with a 0% down, o% interest, 7 year loan. The megacorps use the free money from the Fed to buy back their stock, pumping their EPS and the stock bonuses of the executives, while laying off thousands, and distributing 2% raises to the plebs. The Too Big To Trust Wall Street titans take the free candy from the Fed, use their HFT supercomputers, and rig the markets with trillions in derivatives of mass destruction. The raping and pillaging of the middle class will continue until there is nothing left but bleached bones.

This Wall Street fantasy world is interrupted every day with anecdotes from the real world, but the willfully ignorant public enjoys believing the lies as their normalcy bias overcomes their own eyes.

Macy’s is supposed to be one of the successful retailers in the country and their earnings report was nothing but PR maggot spin and misinformation. The huge headline was their earnings per share rose by 11%. That sounds really impressive. You have to go deep into their propaganda press release to find out their profit actually went up a pitiful 3.9%. They spent millions buying back their stock. Brilliant move considering the stock cratered by $4 per share today. They announced same store sales growth of 3.4%, but in a little footnote say this includes on-line sales. Their on-line sales are growing strongly and their bricks and mortar is dying. They are closing stores and firing people.

Retail stocks are down 4% this year, while the S&P 500 is up 5%.As you can see in the chart Department stores (Macys, Sears, Kohls, JC Penney) and general merchandise stores (Wal-Mart, Target) are sucking wind with sales collapsing in July. So much for that back to school surge.

JC Penney will report another huge loss later this week. Wal-Mart will report shitty results as their customers are the ignorant masses. Retail is dying a long arduous slow death. It will not reverse itself. Americans are using their credit cards to pay for utilities, gas, taxes, and everyday bills. This Federal Reserve created Bubble 2.0 is going to cause havoc when it bursts because it has engulfed stocks, bonds, and housing simultaneously.

Does anyone with two brain cells actually believe we are having a housing recovery with mortgage applications at 14 year lows? Mortgage rates have fallen for the last year, as mortgage applications have plummeted. That is a sure sign of a strong health housing recovery and really bodes well for home furnishing, building materials, appliance, and electronics retailers.

Retail sales have missed expectations to the downside in 8 of the last 12 months. But, Jim Cramer assures us this is about to change. All is well. The future is bright. Jobs are plentiful. Consumers are confident. The stock market is at all-time highs. There is cash on the sidelines. Subprime loans are going to invigorate consumer spending. The deadbeats won’t default this time. They promise.

So the recession ended in 2009 according to TPTB. Shouldn’t year over year changes in retail sales be accelerating rather than declining since 2010? The unemployment rate, according to the geniuses at the BLS, has fallen from 9.6% in 2010 to 6.2% today. This should have spurred a huge spending spree by all the joyous employed people. What happened? The 9 million people who “willingly” left the workforce surely have plenty of leisure time to shop. The same government drones at the BLS also tell us that prices have only risen by 8.5% over the last four years, so paying more for food, energy and healthcare surely hasn’t deterred discretionary spending. Right?

Again, anyone critically assessing the bullshit heaped upon the public by the government, Fed, media, corporatacracy, and banking cabal realizes everything is a Big Lie. Just examining the highly manipulated and seasonally adjusted data reveals a number of truths:
  • Total retail sales have grown by 3.7% in the last year. People with their eyes open know that inflation is above 5%, so real retail sales are falling.
  • The total is skewed higher by the 8.1% increase in auto “sales”. Again, those awake to the truth know that leasing a car counts as a sale, financing a car for 7 years counts as a sale, and subprime loans to deadbeats who will default counts as a sale. Orwell would be proud.
  • Excluding the renting of cars to millions of Americans, retail sales have grown by a pitiful 2.7% in the last year, well below the true rate of inflation.
  • Furniture, appliance and electronics stores have negative sales over the last three months and essentially flat on a year over year basis. This proves the housing recovery meme is a complete fraud and the home price increases have been driven solely by Wall Street hedge funds using free money from the Fed to pump prices and bailout the Wall Street banks with billions of toxic mortgages on their books.
  • If so many jobs are being created why would clothing sales only be up 1.4% in the last year? Don’t newly employed people need clothes? Maybe they don’t, since most of the jobs are fry cook jobs at McDonalds and Burger King.
  • Sporting goods stores and department stores are filled with discretionary products and both classes of retail are in absolute freefall. Negative 3% to 4% annual sales are disastrous, considering inflation at 5% or higher. This trend assures thousands more retail locations will be shuttered over the next year. Look for more SPACE AVAILABLE signs in a mall near you.
  • Even restaurant sales have peetered out as the obese masses can’t afford the latest Applebees special. The 4.6% annual increase is almost entirely due to rampant food inflation that has caused restaurants to increase prices and reduce portions.
  • Lastly, even the glorious on-line future of retailing has hit a snag. Maybe Amazon stock at $327 isn’t a bargain after all. Online sales FELL month over month and have only risen by 6.7% in the last 12 months. The rate of growth in this category was 15% to 20% for years. The bricks and mortar retailers funded campaigns in all states to impose sales taxes on internet retailers. They’ve succeeded in reducing internet sales while continuing to see negatives sales in their bricks and mortar stores, with the added benefit of depleting consumers of more disposable income and handing billions more to government drones to waste.

So the pundits and propagandists for the ruling class continue to perpetuate the Big Lie of economic recovery, while the evidence in the real world proves it is a lie. Luckily for the oligarchs, if you trot out an “expert” with a degree from Harvard or an important title and instruct him to tell the people all is well and they are getting wealthier by the day, a large portion of the willfully ignorant will believe him. Another portion are so deficient in math skills and the ability to understand any financial concept, they wouldn’t understand anything they are told. The rest of the population is twittering, facebooking, instagramming, texting, or watching the Kardashians.

You will be fascinated to know that Kim (blowjob) Kardashian has 20 million twitter followers and is publishing an entire book of her selfies. She is our modern day John Steinbeck or Ernest Hemingway. So it goes.

31 Comments
  1. Administrator says:

    Job = Just Over Broke

    By Michael Snyder, on August 12th, 2014

    If you are fortunate enough to have a job in America today, the phrase “just over broke” probably describes you. Yes, there are a handful of jobs that certainly pay very well, but most Americans that work for somebody else are just barely making it from month to month. More than half of all working Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and more than half of all working Americans make less than $30,000 a year. That is an amazing statistic but it is actually true. Once upon a time, anyone that was responsible and that was willing to work hard could get a good job in America. But now those days are long gone. Instead, we live at a time when good jobs are disappearing and when the middle class is getting smaller with each passing year. In some homes, the husband and the wife are both working multiple jobs and they can still barely pay their bills. Something has gone horribly wrong, and yet our leaders just keep telling us how wonderful our economy is.

    One of the biggest things that has killed jobs in this country is the fact that the U.S. economy has been steadily merged into the emerging one world economic system over the past several decades. They call it “free trade”, but they never told us that we would be merged into a single global labor pool where we would be competing directly for jobs with workers on the other side of the planet that live in nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.

    According to Gallup, only about 1.3 billion people around the world work full-time for an employer at this point.

    But overall there are more than 7 billion people.

    That means that there are a whole lot of really poor, really desperate people that need to be employed.

    This has been wonderful for the big corporations. They can just take jobs away from American workers and give them to people who are willing to work for less than a tenth of what an American worker would make. This has resulted in the systematic deindustrialization of the United States and horrific decline in dozens of formerly great manufacturing cities.

    At the same time, we have also been losing millions of middle class jobs to technology. At this point, robots are even starting to replace warehouse workers and fast food employees. As robots become even more advanced and become even cheaper to produce, there will be less jobs available for the rest of us.

    And what happens when robots can do everything better than us?

    Because there are fewer middle class jobs available, the competition for the remaining jobs has become incredibly intense. In recent years, millions of Americans have been forced to take just about anything that they can get. For those Americans, “just over broke” has become “just trying to survive” as they scratch and claw their way through life.

    A recent CNBC article profiled one such individual. His name is Ken Bowman, and his job at a guitar shop just barely enables him to pay his rent and feed himself…

    Ken Bowman joins the line for a free lunch in the Youngstown Salvation Army canteen, just like he does every Friday.

    Looking younger than his 21 years, his hair dyed jet black and wearing big, battered boots, Bowman plays heavy metal on his cell phone. He chooses a seat at the end of a table and sits hunched over his tray, his blues eyes furtively sweeping the room. The others sit in packs, regulars who’ve formed lunchtime friendships over their burnt coffee and peppered corn, discussing the jobs they once had and the government benefits they no longer get.

    Bowman is sensitive to the stigma of accepting handouts like lunch. “[It] doesn’t mean you’re homeless or poor, people have standards but they struggle,” he said, his chin jutting out, his eyes glowering.

    After paying his rent, Bowman says his job in a guitar shop leaves him with $50 a month to live on — if he can get shifts. He is one of America’s “underemployed,” a group of as many as 11 million Americans struggling to survive in society’s shadows on wages that put them below the federal poverty line.

    There are millions of others out there just like Bowman. In fact, as I mentioned in a previous article, one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line. The “working poor” is a phrase that describes a very large segment of the U.S. population today.

    And the cold, hard truth of the matter is that most of the country is steadily getting poorer. According to a study recently discussed in the New York Times, the “typical American household” is now worth 36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago. That is a staggering decline in just ten years.

    Meanwhile, the cost of living continues to rise. This is something that I have discussed repeatedly, but sometimes a picture can say things far better than any words can.

    The photo posted below has been floating around on Twitter. It is of a McDonald’s menu from the 1960s. As you can see, prices have gone up a little bit since then…

    Inflation – McDonald’s

    Most people think that I am crazy when I tell them that I can remember a cup of coffee being sold for a quarter when I was young. But it is true. Over the long-term, our purchasing power has been systematically destroyed by the insane polices of the Federal Reserve.

    Sadly, most Americans don’t understand any of this. They just trust that our leaders actually know what they are doing. Meanwhile, they just keep on struggling to survive in an economic system that is stacked against them.

    According to one recent study, 40 percent of all households in the United States are experiencing financial stress right now and the homeownership rate for Americans under the age of 35 is at an all-time low.

    In the old days, if you got your education, worked hard and did all the right things, it was just about an automatic ticket to the middle class.

    Today it doesn’t work like that.

    Instead, more Americans than ever are being forced to become dependent on the government. If you can believe it, Americans received more than 2 trillion dollars in benefits from the federal government last year alone.

    So it astounds me whenever I hear anyone say that the economy is in “good shape”.

    How can it be in “good shape” when one out of every three adults in the United States has an unpaid debt that is “in collections” and there are 49 million Americans that are dealing with food insecurity?

    The truth is that we are in the midst of a long-term economic decline that is the result of decades of incredibly foolish decisions.

    Until the American people start understanding what has happened to us, they are never going to demand real change that actually accomplishes something.

    13th August 2014 at 3:11 pm

  2. Administrator says:

    Customer penny pinching is spreading

    By Tomi Kilgore, MarketWatch

    Customer penny pinching, which has bruised the retail and food sectors, is also leaving a mark on the industrial sector.

    Deere & Co. shares (NYSE:DE) fell 1.7% in afternoon trade Wednesday after the farm and construction equipment maker lowered its fiscal 2014 profit outlook, and said it would scale back production to match soft demand.

    Analyst Ryan Connors at Janney Capital Markets said Deere has had trouble recouping costs associated with meeting tougher federal emission standards, as a drop in grain prices have left farmers with less cash to spend on equipment.

    Deere share have lost 6.8% year to date, compared with a 5.3% rise in the S&P 500 index (SNC:SPX) .

    Deere is not alone, as the margin contribution to earnings has dropped sharply this year. Overall net margin for the S&P 500 companies is 1.2% in the second quarter, up from 0.7% in the first quarter, but well below the quarterly average of 3.8% for 2013, according to data provided by RBC Capital Markets.

    Meanwhile, food companies have especially struggled, as consumers have been unwilling to share the burden of rising costs. Kraft Foods shares (NASDAQ:KRFT) tumbled 6.4% on July 31 after the company said it lost market share in the second quarter because competitors didn’t match its price increases for cold cuts in the face of rising meat prices.

    And on Monday, Dean Foods’ stock (NYSE:DF) dropped 3.9% after the company said a rise in retail milk prices, to make up for “record high” dairy commodity costs, has led to accelerating sales-volume declines of milk products.

    Retailers have also repeatedly complained about a highly promotional and competitive selling environment. On Wednesday, Macy’s shares (NYSE:M) slumped 6% in afternoon trade after Chief Executive Terry Lundgren said “many customers are still not feeling comfortable about spending more in an uncertain economic environment.”

    Investors will get more detail on customer spending habits when discount retailers Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) and J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) report results on Thursday.

    13th August 2014 at 3:30 pm

  3. Mark says:

    Simple solutions that I think are politically possible.

    Give everybody with an American Passport (no green cards or temporary visas) an EBT card.

    Raise taxes to pay for it on the Rich and cut spending in other areas.

    You can also offer everyone a gas and rent subsidy with no exceptions.

    If the Democrats are going to transfer wealth from the many to the few. The Republicans should transfer wealth from the few to the many.

    13th August 2014 at 3:50 pm

  4. overthecliff says:

    The Quinn Retail Space Indicator in my town has shown a slight economic downturn in the last month. Empty storefronts have increased slightly. Economic recovery is fiction prose.

    13th August 2014 at 4:21 pm

  5. chicago999444 says:

    Mark, subsidies are one of the problems, not the solution.

    Subsidize everything and everything will just rise in price, guaranteed. There is no better way to drive up prices than with subsidies.

    And it won’t be the “rich” who pay this- it will be what’s left of the taxpaying middle and lower-middle classes. Our taxes and costs will both rise as more jobs are lost.

    Worse, the subsidies will be ruthlessly skimmed by the financial cartel, whose institutions process the EBT card transactions and SS payments and other subsidies.

    It’s a lose-lose proposition for anyone not of the Financial Oligarch class. The oligarchs will get richer while the rest of us become poorer and more of us become government dependents. And when our owners have at last squeezed the very last drop out of us, the subsidies will all end for anyone who isn’t a top financial institution or other crony corporation in need of a bailout.

    13th August 2014 at 4:25 pm

  6. Todd says:

    Mark,
    Raise taxes on the only people who are able to give you a job? I think there will be fewer jobs then. Democrats are not intentionally transferring wealth from the many to the few they just don’t know what they are doing and this is the result. Republicans don’t want to “transfer” any money either; they want all classes of income to rise.

    13th August 2014 at 5:43 pm

  7. hardscrabble farmer says:

    The passage about the 21 year old guitar shop employee from Youngstown, Ohio was illuminating.

    He needs a cell phone to listen to heavy metal and dye for his hair because?

    Youngstown was an economic basket case 25 years ago, what happened since that has improved its prospects? How many guitar buyers could possibly live in the Youngstown metro area? A dozen? 50? And once they buy the guitar what’s left? Extra strings and a capo?

    This defines our situation as well as anything.

    This young man could have spent his Summer as a WOOFer, learned something valuable, gotten buff, eaten like a king instead of canned corn at a food bank and saved every dollar he earned.

    I wonder what its going to take for people to figure out that the present system isn’t working and that something better requires changing your frame.

    13th August 2014 at 6:43 pm

  8. llpoh says:

    One of the quotes from above: “One of the biggest things that has killed jobs in this country is the fact that the U.S. economy has been steadily merged into the emerging one world economic system over the past several decades”

    Yep, that is indeed true. It was inevitable – economic isolationism is not possible. The “middle class” was an aberration – high wages paid to unskilled workers with mediocre talent, every reducing levels of education (especially relative to the rest of the world), etc – and was not sustainable long-term.

    The US middle class is not close to hitting bottom. I think there is another 40% fall to come before an equalization point is met.

    In a high tech economy, low skills, poor education, and a sense of entitlement = tough shit for you. And artificially trying to keep the standard of living of those folks at middle class standards by “taxing the rich” is an absurdity that is doomed to failure.

    Life was never meant to be easy. Humans have always had to compete for everything. That the US middle class came to believe that they were entitled to their standard of living, without having good education, work ethics, or natural ability simply shows that human nature is deeply flawed, and that people generally do not possess any ability to project current action to long-term outcome.

    There is no solution – it is too late. Best folks can do is encourage their kids to skill-up, develop good work habits, and be ready to take advantage of any opportunities that come along.

    The days of living well despite low skill and ability and no work ethic are coming to a rapid close.

    13th August 2014 at 8:33 pm

  9. Leobeer says:

    Someone should inform the Mexicans of this before they cross the border.

    13th August 2014 at 8:53 pm

  10. Mr Chen says:

    Someone should inform the Mexicans of this before they cross the border.

    Someone should tell the Aussies that Central Americans are not Mexicans. And as for working hard, they know how to do this better than Gringos. By ‘gringos’ I mean American born slackers of all races, marginal, low productivity fat fuck schlubs conceited enough to believe economic reality has been replaced by racial superiority theory.

    13th August 2014 at 9:18 pm

  11. KaD says:

    Wages in U.S. down 23 percent since 2008, report shows:http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2014/08/wages_in_us_down_23_percent_si.html AND

    Marie Vega was on a family fishing trip with her husband Javier, son Javier Jr., his wife Paola and their three children when they were ambushed by two armed Mexican illegal immigrants who have been deported SIX times before in total.

    Javier Jr and his father bravely tried to fight them off, but the off-duty Border Patrol Agent was fatally shot in the chest and Javier Sr was blasted in the hip.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2719011/I-not-rest-worthless-pieces-s-t-dead-Anguished-vow-mother-watched-duty-Border-Patrol-son-gunned-two-illegal-immigrants-deported-SIX-times-before.html#ixzz3AKFFlLgG

    13th August 2014 at 9:27 pm

  12. overthecliff says:

    Damn, IIpoh that is a really grim view of the situation. Right too!

    13th August 2014 at 9:38 pm

  13. ASIG says:

    What LLPOH said 100% dead on accurate!!!!

    14th August 2014 at 2:20 am

  14. Reverse Engineer says:

    “Yep, that is indeed true. It was inevitable – economic isolationism is not possible. The “middle class” was an aberration – high wages paid to unskilled workers with mediocre talent, every reducing levels of education (especially relative to the rest of the world), etc – and was not sustainable long-term. “-llpoh

    Actually, everything was an aberration, fueled by cheap energy.

    Everybody’s standard of living will crash here, rich and poor alike. Actually, the SoL of the Rich will crash further, because the poor are pretty close to bottom already. This is a relative thing.

    A 40% reduction is a gross underestimate here, it will be more like a 50% crash for the poorest, and a 90% crash for the rich, and that is a best case scenario. There is a solid likelihood the entire financial ponzi will crash, in which case everybody is levelled to zero.

    I will cross post this article tonight on the Diner.

    RE

    14th August 2014 at 4:17 am

  15. forfawkesannaspaid says:

    *they* just cannot comprehend where the earth is turning ,lessons learning,money is just paper,burning.

    Farmer guy spot on.BTW.

    14th August 2014 at 7:47 am

  16. flash says:

    Here in the south, it’s just to hot to shop… but wait till fall when the weather cools…retail sales will explode.

    14th August 2014 at 7:59 am

  17. flash says:

    American don’t need no stinkin’ dirty steel mills.. we’re all pretty in pink

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVak9xuXyqc

    finance and war is all we need to make it in modern day “Murica

    14th August 2014 at 8:06 am

  18. Administrator says:

    I could have predicted this. We just got a 30% Kohl’s coupon in the mail.

    Kohl’s sales fall

    By Anna Prior

    Kohl’s Corp. said fiscal second-quarter earnings improved slightly as lower expenses masked a decline in sales for the department-store chain.

    Sales, excluding newly opened and closed locations, fell 1.3% in the second quarter, missing analysts’ expectations for a 0.7% drop.

    Retailers have been challenged by drops in store traffic and weak sales amid a variety of pressures. Business has failed to pick up despite the mild summer weather an improving macroeconomic backdrop that includes lower unemployment, a recovering housing market and a shift by consumers to more discretionary spending, away from home-related items that made up a chunk of 2013 purchases.

    14th August 2014 at 8:11 am

  19. Administrator says:

    Who could have predicted this? Oh yeah. Me.

    Wal-Mart cuts outlook as store traffic slips again

    By Michael Calia

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. slashed its earnings guidance for the year as the retail giant posted yet another decline in traffic and flat same-store sales.

    Wal-Mart said it now expects earnings for the year of $4.90 to $5.15, down from its previous range of $5.10 to $5.45, pointing to higher-than-expected U.S. healthcare costs and incremental investments in its e-commerce business.

    The results indicated that the world’s biggest retailer remains mired in a slump that has turned off investors and Wall Street analysts alike. Under Chief Executive Doug McMillon, who took over the job in February, Wal-Mart has pushed e-commerce and smaller stores in a bid to support the bottom line as U.S. sales have languished.

    U.S. store traffic slipped 1.1%, its seventh consecutive quarterly decline. Sales at U.S. Wal-Mart stores, excluding recently opened and closed stores, were flat, in line with company expectations. Same-store sales had fallen five straight quarters.

    14th August 2014 at 8:13 am

  20. Tim says:

    Leo/Chen:

    Here’s a story you may appreciate:

    I’m a project manager on a $40 million warehouse project in Dallas, TX. We needed another roofing crew to start working on the second building. On Monday, the roofers had 18 men on site. On Tuesday, they only had 13. What happened to the other 5?

    The Mexican formeman informed us that the gringos were lazy, didn’t want to work, and didn’t show up for work the second after realizing how hard roofing work is.

    We promptly called their office and told their Project Manager, “Hire some more Mexicans and don’t send any more gringos!”

    14th August 2014 at 8:24 am

  21. flash says:

    Apparently the Chinese think US of A has been thoroughly weakened via socioeconomic distress brought about by off-shoring of major industry ,expansion of unsustainable commercial and private credit coupled with a massive invasion of third world immigrants that are now confident enough move towards expanding their empire….and I think , from all geo-political evidence they are not premature in their play for global dominance…this is only a test of the West’s willpower to counteract.

    http://www.voxday.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-patient-game.html
    The patient game
    China is making use of its long-honed method for military dominance on the USA:

    What is peculiar to China’s political culture, and of very great contemporary relevance is the centrality within it of a very specific doctrine on how to bring powerful foreigners—indeed foreigners initially more powerful than the empire—into a tributary relationship. Specialists concur that this doctrine emerged from the very protracted (3rd century BCE to 1st century CE) but ultimately successful struggle with the Xiongnú (匈奴) horse-nomad state, just possibly remote ancestors of Attila’s Huns, but definitely the inventors of the Steppe State political system that would be replicated by all their successors, and more adapted than replaced even by the Mongols….

    The method forms a logical sequence:

    Stage One: start by conceding all that must be conceded to the superior power including tribute, in order to avoid damage and obtain whatever forbearance is offered. But this in itself entangles the ruling class of the still-superior power in webs of material dependence that reduce its independent vitality and strength.
    Stage Two: offer equality in a privileged bipolarity that excludes all lesser powers, or “G-2” in current parlance. That neutralizes the still powerful Other party, and isolates the manipulated soon-to-be former equal from all its potential allies, preventing from balancing China with a coalition.
    Stage Three: finally, when the formerly superior power has been weakened enough, withdraw all tokens of equality and impose subordination.

    Until the Chinese government decided—very prematurely I believe—to awaken the world to its classically imperial territorial ambitions by demanding the cession of lands, reefs, rocks, and sea waters from India, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam (demands that disturb and damage the concurrent Tianxia narrative of an alternative and more harmonious state system, disseminated even within the confines of Stanford University), it was making much progress towards Stage Two, the stage of equality preparatory to the final stage of subordination.

    For all its weaknesses, and they are many, one thing that must be kept in mind is that the Chinese always play the long game. The Han have been playing this game and winning at it for a very long time; they are considerably more successful in historical terms than other ancient cultures such as the Greeks, the Romans, or the Jews. China is less than 70 years into its long-term struggle with the USA and has already reached the point where it is able to challenge the USA on a regional level; I very much doubt that its strategists are well aware that it took 147 years to subdue the Xiongnú.

    Meanwhile, the USA is sinking into weakness and amalgamation with lesser, non-European cultures. I would expect Stage Two to be reached within the next 20 years. If the USA thought in similar terms, it would go to war with China now, while it still has the advantage. But US leadership doesn’t think further ahead than the next presidential election, or, as the rise of ISIS in the void of conquered Iraq demonstrates, in grand strategic terms.

    14th August 2014 at 8:28 am

  22. Stackingstock says:

    I find it very difficult to explain to people in my visually depressed area of how fucked up things really are. You wanna know what makes it even harder, is when you bonus 12 quarters in a row. They my friends and family laugh at me everyday, It’s so depressing. Thanks for letting me vent.

    14th August 2014 at 8:41 am

  23. Leobeer says:

    Tim,

    I don’t doubt the Mexicans have a better work ethic than the gringos. Admitting my ignorance about your business but IF the gringos aren’t getting paid what they consider a livable wage and can get just as much by staying home why would you expect them to work?

    My points are this. America has an unemployment problem that the govt makes worse by paying people not to work. Taking in immigrants (legal or illegal) may get the work done but it doesn’t solved the unemployment problem. At the risk of sounding like Clammy, you can’t expect people to work if the pay isn’t enough to pay their monthly living expenses. My other point is many in foreign countries perceive America as a place where everyone is rich. They see American tourists using their credit cards and getting endless cash from ATMs. They have never seen poor Americans, assume there aren’t any, and want to go there so they won’t be poor every again.

    14th August 2014 at 12:04 pm

  24. Mr Chen says:

    Leobeer re-packages my points from my maquila editorial and pats himself on the back.
    No matter, AWD will be here soon to prove why we; Leo, Tim and I are wrong. Nobody is advocating mre immigration, we are actually parroting what LLPOH has said for millennia, gringos need to get competitive, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Walmart and Sam’s already use computerized shift assignment to manage employees more efficiently. It is the ‘just in time’ principle of supply applied to labor. Welcome to the new America.

    While blacks complain they won’t be white man’s slave anymore and refuse to work, and white men complain they are too superior to work like niggers for nigger pay, the illegals will continue to take the jobs. There it is, straight up.

    14th August 2014 at 9:10 pm

  25. Kill Bill says:

    Of course you can bonus when the companies CEO is buying back its own stock to appease the investors.

    As for Walmart, their food prices are lower, but coursing the people that do inhabit it is entirely frustrating. These people stand in the middle of the aisle, with their cart, to stare at who knows what the fuck what, and then, after you cannot pass, after 10-15 seconds, come out of their Walmart induced coma to say, “Sorry” but I wonder if they just do that to find someone to converse with after rocketing from their section 8 econonlodging towards the SNAP swilling grocery with shelves of sugary shit.

    14th August 2014 at 11:16 pm

  26. Kill Bill says:

    Fuck Walmart, I’d rather spend my dollars at Tom Thumb than deal with the crap stained comatose crowd that shops, and leaves empty carts in the aisles, full of food that will be trashed, for it is thawed out, just to experience air-conditioning and a denied SNAP card.

    14th August 2014 at 11:20 pm

  27. Anonymous says:

    While blacks complain they won’t be white man’s slave anymore and refuse to work, and white men complain they are too superior to work like niggers for nigger pay, the illegals will continue to take the jobs. There it is, straight up. -Chen

    But those who take govt benefits are in effect slaves. I am white, though no cone in my eye realizes that, just red green and blue, I do work, I take no benefit from the state or federal government, they do, however tax me. Illegals don’t take jobs because of race or color but because some cheap sumbitch wants to increase his profits. Being ‘black’ which my eyes also dont realize for they see only red, green and blue, is this, like you, decided by my brain.

    But tell me Chen, since when is color a reason to work or not work? Seems to me you are giving rise to false beliefs. You made the claim so now its up to you to prove it.

    14th August 2014 at 11:25 pm

  28. Mr Chen says:

    it is not a reason more than it is an excuse. the thinking seems to be that ‘i’m black and i’m a victim of white racism, therefore i will go on welfare before i will work a day for the man. those who claim i am a slave because i accept a handout do not realize that is a poor argument. i am getting free shit but it is my due since the white man abused my grandpappa. i will consider this welfare payment not as a handout but an installment on the reparations due my ancestors.

    I can’t come up with anything deeper, KB. It all seems like superficial victim mentality that is taught to kids who are born black in the ghetto. People trying hard to deal with negative self-worth by finding an external cause for their sorry lot instead of lifting a finger to get the hell out of the ghetto.

    15th August 2014 at 12:12 am

  29. mike says:

    I install flooring for a living. God loves me, and i manage. I dont have debt, i hate it. So i have no house of my own. i take care of an 88 year old mother, and am a single father. I have read all the comments, and i agree with a lot of points being made. Heres my take. I cannot find anyone to replace me. It is hard dirty work. It takes skill, personal responsibility, AND a great deal of physical ability. Over the course of 20 years i have tried to hire and train two dozen people. They have all given up in favor of something easier. Fine. It sucks. But in my world, if you want something, work for it.
    On the other hand, i tried to ply my trade in AZ once. Heres what i came up against. I had to take a class, get a license, get bonded, (evidently not the same as insurance) get insurance, and take a test to prove i knew what i was doing after 15 years of flooring, all to the tune of about $3000. And then if i was lucky i could start at the bottom at some shop doing bedrooms and bathrooms once in a while.
    Then i was told that in the end it didnt matter. Because the area was filthy with illegals that didnt have to go through any of that and would do the job for a tenth the price i would charge.
    And WHY were they doing the job and had the work? Because the homeowners wanted the discount.
    So they hire the illegals, get a crappy job at a tenth the price, (i have done a BUNCH of emergency “please fix my floor this guy didnt know what he was doing” jobs) and then wonder why no one buys their crap at their store at the mall.
    So whats the answer? I truly dont know. Its a multifaceted cluster $#@!
    But i DO KNOW THIS! That final collapse that the awake of us have been warning about since 2009? Its not AT the door, its about to step in.

    15th August 2014 at 5:18 am

  30. Stackingstock says:

    Kill Bill says Of course you can bonus when the companies CEO is buying back its own stock to appease the investors.

    Bill, what the CEO does is for Management and the investors. My bonus along with the other piss ants ( $180,000 ) comes from quarterly store performance. Double digit comps ( WTF?) in a super depressed area. Bill they laughing at me again as we just made # 13.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    15th August 2014 at 9:51 am

  31. TE says:

    Wow, great commentary.

    From ‘murkins not wanting to actually work for a living, to the state mafia that shakes down the honest while spending millions, but not stopping, the dishonest whom continue to thrive outside the rule of law and regulation.

    The problem isn’t the illegal, nor the trod upon legal, the fucking problem is the state.

    Code and licensing enforcement is a multi-billion dollar business where the honest pay from start to finish, and the dishonest get what they get, sometimes screwed, sometimes not.

    These codes, and OSHAs, and rules have little to do with the actual protection that pretend to offer, they have everything to do with the thousands and thousands of public, usually unionized, enforcers, clerks, cops, judges and of course, the private contractors whom benefit and buy the politicians the votes.

    I used to believe that the majority, the non-unionized, overly-regulated, business creators would stand the hell up and lead us to change. I now know it ain’t going to happen.

    Human nature in most of us demands we avoid confrontation, and situations, where we will be targeted. Now throw in the fact that we have to spend so much time, and our limited energy, thinking about, recording, planning, filing and paying for the shit, plus doing the actual thing we are in business to do, and it has become clear my dream is not going to happen.

    Instead, more of us will be forced to become like the illegal, doing work on the side, under the table. As more and more of our lives/costs are directly tied to our incomes, and our food, shelter, insurance, cars, heat, lights, become more and more expensive, the natural – and completely expected per human nature – thing to do will be to make less on paper.

    Which will only bring down the authorities, and our collapse, harder and faster.

    Someday our slow descent into madness is going to accelerate into its final, epic, never before seen at this magnitude, implosion.

    Meanwhile, moron “experts” keep making changes to their grandiose plans, line their pockets with what little profit is left, and spend billions chasing market share that thanks in large part to the above problems, no longer exists. The song and dance offered by some ass on JCP was epic this morning.

    Moving the deck chairs while whistling a happy tune. *boom* goes the dynamite that is this world.

    15th August 2014 at 10:06 am

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