IGNORE THE MEDIA BULLSH*T – RETAIL IMPLOSION PROVES WE ARE IN RECESSION

77 comments

Posted on 14th October 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Here we go again. The dying legacy media will continue to support the status quo, who provide their dwindling advertising revenue, by papering over the truth with platitudes, lies, and misinformation. I have been detailing the long slow death of retail in America for the last few years. The data and facts are unequivocal. Therefore, the establishment and their media mouthpieces need to suppress the truth.

They spin every terrible report in the most positive way possible. They blame lousy retail results on the weather. They blame them on calendar effects. They blame them on gasoline sales plunging. That one is funny, because we heard for months that retail spending would surge because people had more money in their pockets from the huge decline in gasoline prices.

September retail sales were grudgingly reported by the Census Bureau this morning and they were absolutely dreadful. This followed an atrocious August report. The MSM couldn’t blame it on snow, cold, flooding, drought, or even swarms of locusts. So they just buried the story in their small print headlines. The propaganda media machine had nothing. They continue to spew the drivel about a 5.1% unemployment rate as a reflection of a booming jobs market. If we really have a booming jobs market, we would have a booming retail sector. The stagnant retail market reveals the jobs data to be fraudulent. The 94 million people supposedly not in the job market can’t buy shit with their good looks.

Despite the storyline about consumer austerity being the reason for sluggish spending, the facts prove otherwise. Consumer spending accounted for 68% of GDP in 2008 at the peak. Seven years later it still represents 68% of GDP. The difference is the spending has shifted dramatically towards services since the Wall Street created financial crisis. Spending on services has grown by 31% versus 20% for goods since 2008. Guess what has caused that surge?

OBAMACARE

Spending on healthcare has skyrocketed for the average person. Rent, taxes, utilities and educational expenses have all exploded higher. Meanwhile, real median household incomes are 7% lower than they were in 2008. They are 7% lower than they were in 2000 and equal to the level of 1989. And the bubble headed bimbos on CNBC can’t understand why retail sales aren’t booming? Did they get their journalism degrees from the University of Phoenix or Trump University?

Let’s dig into the data for some shits and giggles. First off, you need to realize how bad it really is when you consider US automakers are essentially giving away vehicles to anyone who can fog a mirror, as long as they are willing to obligate themselves into never ending debt enslavement. The average amount financed of $27,000 and the average length of loan of 65 months are both record highs. As the automakers get more desperate by the day, 7 year 0% loans are now becoming the norm. Dealer incentives in the thousands proliferate. And subprime auto loans now constitute over 20% of all sales. The pace of subprime auto loans has more than doubled the pace of prime loans since 2010.

The Fed, Treasury and Wall Street decided auto sales would be the tonic to cure our economic ills, so they opened up the debt floodgate to get everyone and anyone into a new vehicle. They needed booming auto sales to provide the appearance of economic recovery. So, while overall consumer expenditures increased by 21% since 2010, auto loan debt grew by an astounding 41%. An this is just the debt side of the equation.

Over 27% of all vehicle “sales” are actually leases. Calling a three year rental a car sale stretches the concept of sale to the limits. Anyone who finances a car over seven years or leases a car, can never escape the chains of monthly payment debt. They will always be underwater, just the way Wall Street likes it. The proof these “strong” auto sales are just another debt based scheme are the non-existent profits of automakers and stock prices at 2010 levels. If auto sales are so healthy why would GM stock be down 18% since 2013 and Ford stock down 14% in the last year?

If you strip out the debt financed auto bonanza, retail sales are pitiful on a monthly and annual basis. I thought the later Labor Day was the reason for poor August sales. Maybe kids didn’t go back to school this year. The categories with NEGATIVE monthly sales was immense: Electronics & appliances (what about that housing boom), Building materials & garden equipment, Food & beverage, Gasoline stations, General Merchandise (Wal-Mart), Misc stores, Nonstore (Amazon). Overall, retail sales excluding autos was down 0.3% over the prior month. August sales were down 0.1% over July. The news just gets worse and worse as the government reports lower and lower unemployment. A fascinating dichotomy.

The annual and year to date figures are even more disturbing. The annualized and year to date numbers show 0.8% to 1.2% increases. If you believe your government that there is no inflation (Social Security recipients will get a 0% increase in their benefits next year – should do wonders for retail sales), then those pitiful increases are valid. If you live in the real world where your costs to live are going up by 5% or more, real retail sales are negative. The way to figure out who is lying is to look at the profits of retailers. They are plunging, so shockingly the government is lying about inflation.

Retail sales have missed the expectations of highly paid Wall Street economists 7 out of the last 10 months and 10 out of the last 15 months. But they guarantee sales will be strong next month. Maybe they should double seasonally adjust retail sales like they did GDP because it gets cold in the winter. How could the retail sales be so pitiful when the unemployment rate has fallen from 8.9% to 5.1% over the same time frame? Maybe someone could ask Obama at his next press conference.

The fact of the matter is that year over year retail sales at these levels only happen during recessions. It’s really that simple. Without the crutch of subprime auto loans and student loan debt being spent by pretend University of Phoenix students on iGadgets, fitbits, hookers and blow, this economy would already be in free fall.

Look no further than what happened to Wal-Mart today for confirmation we are in the midst of a worldwide recession, if not depression. Their stock fell by 10%, the largest one day loss in their history as a public company. Their stock is down 30% this year.

Make no mistake about it, Wal-Mart is a global retailer whose annual sales dwarf the GDP of most of the countries on the planet. They announced flat revenue for the current year and slashed next year’s earnings expectations by 12%. As usual, they blame external factors for their failures. The strong dollar seems to be the excuse de jour among the multi-national corporations who rule the globe. If they didn’t want to deal with currency risk, they shouldn’t have gone global. It’s a cost of doing business, not an excuse.

I found it amusing that Marketwatch had their headline as Wal-Mart to Buyback $20 Billion of Stock, rather than reporting that Wal-Mart’s profits are crashing by billions. The propaganda machine just doing their job. Every clueless highly educated CEO of floundering corporate behemoths follows the exact same game plan. Borrow money as your profits are in decline to buyback your stock near record highs to give the appearance that EPS is growing. If you can’t make profits, fake them. At least the executives will get their million dollar bonuses while announcing more layoffs. That always delights Wall Street.

All economic indicators are flashing red and warning of recession. Retail sales, that account for two thirds of economic activity, are falling. Corporate profits are plunging. Middle class Americans haven’t seen their household income rise since 1989. The last two employment reports were horrific. The number of  job layoff announcements by corporations is up 36% year to date and has already exceeded the total for 2014.

The only people who refuse to acknowledge recession reality are the Wall Street hucksters, looking to fleece a few more muppets before their party is over. They’ve created a short covering rally, despite the awful economic news, ridiculously high valuations, record levels of margin debt, and a public who left the markets years ago. Rigging the markets, utilizing free money from the Fed, producing fake profits through government sanctioned accounting fraud and using high frequency trading machines to manipulate the market can only get you so far.

Propaganda and lies can’t stop this recession. The Fed never took their foot off the gas, so we are headed for the cliff at 100 miles per hour. I wonder what happens next.

77 Comments
  1. robert h siddell jr says:

    Not so much what but when.

     

    14th October 2015 at 5:40 pm

  2. kokoda says:

    I’ve been severely disappointed in our U.S. government for quite some time and I’ve finally figured out a major reason for this – it is the absolute lies across the board: Financial data manipulation; politicians constantly lying about everything; geopolitical lies by Obama and all his team members (UKR, Syria, yada, yada); lies by our CONgress (purposeful deception = Lie); Global Warming = the Big Lie; Obama’s constant lies; the Obamacare deception; etc.

     

    14th October 2015 at 6:10 pm

  3. nmb says:

    Stephen Hawking confirms: The problem is Capitalism, not robots!

    http://bit.ly/1G70xbH

     

    14th October 2015 at 6:51 pm

  4. Jim says:

    The wife and I were talking the other day, and although anecdotal, it seems Americans are just going through the motions these days, dazed at the the pathetic candidate pool for presidency, perhaps subconciously knowing something is just not kosher in these United States. I concur, it is getting more and more surreal as time goes by. It does not take a rocket scientist to look around and see the empty storefronts, the proliferation of for profit college diploma mills generating more hair dressers and nail polishers and the like. The only real growth in retail seems to be dollar stores. We live in confusing times. Out.

     

    14th October 2015 at 6:52 pm

  5. TE says:

    No WAY can we trust the auto sales numbers.

    Just saw an ad offering a 15% cash rebate on new GM vehicles.

    So, finance, at 7-8 years and less than 3%, and put money in your pocket. Using your brand new car as an equity Atm.

    Indicator #2, stopped by large regional bank to make our deposit for weekly payroll, EVERY lane had a bright, new, shiny sign offering “home equity loans for your cash flow.”

    Here we go again.

    But don’t worry, according to hub and his business owning brothers, this is just a temporary glitch thanks to China, and there is NO WAY the market will go down and stay down. “By the end of next year, the market and country will be better than today.”

    So there ya’ go.

     

    14th October 2015 at 7:04 pm

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe retail sales are slowing because everybody just plain has too much stuff.

    I know that’s my situation, I got so much stuff I don’t have any place to put any more. Not even replacing most of what breaks and wears out, I prefer to just toss it and have less clutter.

     

    14th October 2015 at 7:06 pm

  7. bb says:

    Just got the word from the company that does my taxes that the penalty for me not buying insurance from the Obama care system is 95 dollars a month. In other words I owe the IRS another 1200 dollars .Next year it doubles.

    I would like to take these politicians and ……..?

     

    14th October 2015 at 7:12 pm

  8. mike in ga says:

    I stopped into Papa John’s an hour ago to pick up a pizza for my wife and me. Backing out of the parking lot, I had to use care not to hit one of the delivery vehicles on the lot. As I glanced in the passenger side rear view mirror I thought I noticed a familiar crest on the trunk. With a big plastic Papa John’s delivery marker on top, a Cadillac CTS!

     

    14th October 2015 at 7:13 pm

  9. Backtable says:

    Buyback_baby.jpg

     

    14th October 2015 at 7:18 pm

  10. Anonymous says:

    https://www.gmfinancial.com/docs/about-us/understanding-securitizations.pdf

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-06-13/subprime-trading-like-it-s-07-in-car-loan-bonds-credit-markets

    I would not be at all surprised if these loans are sequentially structured – and in such a way that they are self-funding for the first 18 or 36 months or something – so they look good to the second-tier suckers, until the inevitable default occurs – with them left holding the bag of fertilizer.

     

    14th October 2015 at 8:31 pm

  11. Westcoaster says:

    “The problem isn’t capitalism, it’s crony capitalism” Bernie Sanders.

     

    14th October 2015 at 8:35 pm

  12. Jim says:

    memo to mike in ga: The Papa John Cadillac CTS delivery vehicle is absolutely priceless.

    bb: I am out of the loop on Obamacare as I am covered by my wifes employer, which is a hospital. I am stunned by the penalty you referenced and am I to understand it is going to double next year if you don’t sign up and pay premuiums?

     

    14th October 2015 at 8:37 pm

  13. robert h siddell jr says:

    We got 110 million on Welfare, 8 million on Unemployment, 57 million Not In The Labor Force (NILF and many of them probably want a job). Somebody could get a PhD and Nobel Prize if they could explain what is wrong in 10,000 words and what we need to do to put about 130 million people into constructive jobs (ie, nongovernmental) paying over minimum wage that even a recent college graduate can do. But alas, even the most brilliant among us can’t unravel that Gordian Knot. One thing would definitely help: start cutting the Welfare and Unemployment benefits for the able bodied aged 18 to 65 and many would go to work doing something like house cleaning, repair jobs, child and elder care, small agriculture, small shops, sewing, appliance and small engine repair, automotive & autobody, sawmills, etc. When someone starts making some money, only cut their Welfare starting 3 months later by a sliding scale that starts at about 10% of what they earn and only goes up to 100% when they earn over 110% (after taxes) of their previous Welfare payment.

     

    14th October 2015 at 8:57 pm

  14. Jim says:

    robert: It seemed to work the time that Clinton of all people “reformed” welfare back in the 90’s. I know that most people were hopeful that it would be the end of the welfare state. I don’t know what happened but it slowly crept back up again to the point that it would seem that now it is worse than ever. Its a pathetic joke that no matter what, the libs and their great society bs seem to have won every social issue and cause. Now they are truly pushing the envelope with”free” college education for all slogans, a forgiveness of student loan debt, a $15/hour minimum wage. Has this country lost its mind?

     

    14th October 2015 at 9:18 pm

  15. TCR says:

    Hey TE the 15% cash back rebate offer from GM typically becomes a subprime car borrower’s required down payment on a vehicle. The auto industry has been doing this for decades as few have the down payment required for these big, big, big car loans. Alternatively, you can use this to lower the cost of the vehicle if your ability to pay for the car is actually in order. But most use rebates as a down payment. And all these cars are so DARN EXPENSIVE nowadays- trucks costing $50k, sedans $30k, its crazy! And I’m talking American, not imports which are at another whole level of cost. Actually though, many of the mass market Japanese brands -made in the USA BTW- have become the most affordable cars of today i.e. honda’s, subarus, nisssan etc., whereas American cars seem to be priced in the stratosphere. But of course you can get the funny-money financing with an American brand. I continually wonder in amazement at today’s car prices, funny money loans, and who’s buying them.

     

    14th October 2015 at 9:54 pm

  16. Westcoaster says:

    Siddell, I’m afraid you don’t get it. There are no jobs out there for the millions NILF, that’s WHY they STOPPED LOOKING! Stop pretending it’s otherwise, there are no jobs because small biz has been hardest hit, decimated, from this Depression.

     

    14th October 2015 at 10:06 pm

  17. Stephanie Shepard says:

    “The strong dollar seems to be the excuse de jour among the multi-national corporations who rule the globe. If they didn’t want to deal with currency risk, they shouldn’t have gone global. It’s a cost of doing business, not an excuse.”

    Totally stealing this.

     

    14th October 2015 at 10:18 pm

  18. [email protected] says:

    The oil crash has been starting to affect us here as well.

    (At least until WW3 starts in Syria.)

    Lots of brand new shopping centers with brand new shops and NO CUSTOMERS.

    And although the developers have been putting up houses like mad, they are sitting there EMPTY.

    I can only imagine what is happening in areas worse off than us.

     

    14th October 2015 at 10:24 pm

  19. Lysander says:

    @ Robert H Siddell, Jr……..I thumbed up your comment because your mind and heart are in the right place, IMO. Of course none of that will happen, and actually can’t happen, due to the present economy. I live in CT and there are damn few jobs in general, and nothing, absolutely nothing for me. Since I can’t drive truck anymore (back injury) and I’m in my “Golden Years”, I can’t (#1) get past an interview for even a fkn hamburger joint, and (2) there aren’t any jobs for old bastards like me.

    If Lasiqueeta and her three illegitimate kids get $75,000 a year in benefits (as I’ve read about in the local fishwrap), then why on Earth would she go and get a $9.25/hour job at thirty hours a week with no benefits? If she got that job she would lose a portion of her free housing, free medical, free transportation to the doctor’s office via taxi or special little bus, SNAP, EBT, free electricity, free cell phone, free breakfast and lunch for her kids at school, free school supplies, free breakfast and lunch on weekends for her kids (in certain cities), and that’s not counting if she is “disabled”. If she’s on SSDI, the golden floodgates open and she can get more money, a cool scooter, special handicap vans which provide door to door service, and in some cases, a free handicap enabled van. Life is good for her.

    Here I am trying not to end up living in the street. And some of you might have wondered why I’ve prayed for a total collapse of the whole system into fire and ash and MadMax and WROL and TEOTWAWKI and Epic Shtf? I’ve already pretty much given up on that fantasy, but there’s always hope, you know. *SIGH*

    So retail sales are down, eh? So Walmart only made $990 billion instead of $1 trillion? Well golly gee whiz, it must be Armageddon. I could fucking care less.

     

    14th October 2015 at 10:35 pm

  20. the tumbleweed says:

    Let’s entertain the pipe dream that a well meaning President/Congress can actually navigate the electoral minefield and take power. What then? Could they solve the systemic problems described in this article and in the comments that follow?

    No, they could not. Any attempts to legitimately solve problems will be blocked tooth and nail by any number of thousands of various organizations representing various agendas. The pharmaceutical lobby, agricultural lobby, military industrial complex, private sector unions, government unions, academic, think tanks, foreign dictators, deep state forces, media companies, Wall Street, K Street, Silicon Valley… The list is nearly endless.

    If you are this unfortunately leader trying to fix things, you are checkmated at every turn. If you do manage to cram one good bill through Congress, it will be endlessly corrupted by said special interests, not to mention the time it takes to pass a major piece of legislation. The debt, job crisis, Social Security ponzi scheme, and other problems are of an exponential nature. Congressional legislation and even executive orders to some extent are of a lineal nature. When you wrap your head around the gravity of the situation it makes sense that the politicians and bankers are simply out to steal as much as they can while they can. What else is to be done?

    The situation only ends in a few ways then: Complete collapse, wherein everyone will suffer, but the deadlock described above goes away, fragmentation occurs and scattered fiefdoms are able to rebuild in a logical way. Total subjugation, wherein the current interests or perhaps a foreign power stop pretending and take complete control of the masses, the current standard of living becomes a distant memory, or Absolutism, a combination of the two where a leader takes control and attempts to solve the problems by eliminating all the deadlocking factors that stand in the way.

     

    14th October 2015 at 10:37 pm

  21. Stephanie Shepard says:

    Four Walton Heirs Lose $9 Billion in a single day on weak profit outlook.

    Jim, Alice and S. Robson Walton, children of Walmart founder Sam Walton, each lost $2.4billion

    Sister-in-law Christy Walton’s fortune decreased by $2billion

    The Walton started 2015 with a combined net worth of $169billion but have lost $39billion since January 1

    All four Waltons finished in the top 15 on this year’s Forbes list of 400 wealthiest Americans, with Jim leading the pack in the ninth spot

    Walmart predicted earnings per share would fall between 6-12 per cent in fiscal 2017, sending company stock plummeting Wednesday

    Retailer slashed its outlook due to increased spending on employee wages and e-commerce

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3272601/Wal-Mart-shares-plunge-8-7-cuts-outlook.html

     

    14th October 2015 at 11:17 pm

  22. starfcker says:

    We’re fucked at the moment OK, no argument there. BUT…. Trump is talking tariffs. That is a big deal. Here’s a bigger deal. He is proposing a 15% corporate tax rate. Then the big one. He is proposing S corp flow through will be taxed at the corporate rate. Chew on that. Want to boost small business and entrepreneurs? Want to create jobs? That’s the biggest news in 30 years

     

    14th October 2015 at 11:51 pm

  23. starfcker says:

    That is a great line to steal, steph. And where did DCsunsets go?

     

    15th October 2015 at 4:51 am

  24. TC says:

    Don’t forget that the auto sales numbers are counted when a vehicle is delivered to a dealer lot. Have you driven by a car dealer lately? They’re all stuffed to the gills with record inventory. This isn’t going to end well for many of the small dealers.

    BTW, the US dollar is showing a major technical breakdown right now. I suspect our buying power has peaked. The FED will likely keep the money flowing well into 2016 because the high stock market is the only thing Obama can brag about.

     

    15th October 2015 at 6:54 am

  25. phoolish says:

    Baltic Dry under $800 – less than 1/2 what it was last year at this time. And last year it wasn’t healthy it was just hanging on.

     

    15th October 2015 at 7:02 am

  26. phoolish says:

    Yes.

    “”Any attempts to legitimately solve problems will be blocked tooth and nail by any number of thousands of various organizations representing various agendas. The pharmaceutical lobby, agricultural lobby, military industrial complex, private sector unions, government unions, academic, think tanks, foreign dictators, deep state forces, media companies, Wall Street, K Street, Silicon Valley… The list is nearly endless.””

    My Dad is big on the Fair/Flat tax. Heck, I am too. Except I know it will never happen whereas he believes that if we just get the right leader it will. I tell him, “you do realize that entire ‘accounting’ profession exists because of the tax code.” Do you think they are going to sit still while their profession is terminated?

     

    15th October 2015 at 7:13 am

  27. Yojimbo says:

    I agree – Where is DC Sunsets?!

     

    15th October 2015 at 7:14 am

  28. IndenturedServant says:

    TC says:
    “Don’t forget that the auto sales numbers are counted when a vehicle is delivered to a dealer lot. Have you driven by a car dealer lately?”

    Every new dealers lot around here has been stuffed to the gills as well. Every major dealer has built much larger “new” lots since the cash for clunkers era.

    I’ve been absolutely astounded at the number of cars that the used dealers “appear” to be moving. Used car dealers have been expanding as well. The dealer auction sites out by the airport are jam packed for every auction too. I often wonder if the dealers are simply moving inventory around and around from city to city.

    In a few years time you’ll be able to pick up a car for a song

     

    15th October 2015 at 7:33 am

  29. hardscrabble farmer says:

    Two days ago while loading some fence posts on the tractor forks, I ran over a piece of angle iron that was half buried on a hillside, tearing a hole in the sidewall of the rear tire. My heart sunk- the cost of a new tractor tire is right around $600 not to mention the time and hassle of changing something that weighs in at around 700 pounds by myself. But that’s life.

    The following day I get the tire off, make a few calls around to check price and availability and after a WIDE spread of quotes- lowball $110 for a patch if I can bring it in, $2,000 for a new tire if they come to me and do the install- I get the thing into the back of the pickup and head to the city.

    I arrive at the tire shop, a 40,000 SF facility with at least 2.5 million in stock- I did a quick count of tires, multiplied by the cost for a new one, averaged by size, maybe worth a little more, maybe a little less, but a LOT of $ tied up in one very large store. There was one guy in the back, one guy in the front, and (the mechanic told me) one guy on the road doing a call. This company specializes in big tires for the trucking and industrial/agriculture market, no passenger vehicle stuff here. I did a quick calculation on rent, payroll, insurance, HVAC, etc and figured they needed at least 3-4K per day to remain profitable, 2.5K to stay open, anything less and they were out of business. I should mention that I was the only customer in the store.

    The guy said he could patch it, refill it with calcium chloride (ballast) and have me set to go in a couple of hours, so I decided to run a couple of errands while I was in the city. This is the largest metropolitan area in my state, but far smaller than most urban areas in the US. First stop was a small electronics/second hand shop I had been to once before. I needed a couple of things- a lighted headlamp/magnifier combo, some steel punches, a couple of solar panels for a stand alone water pump to fill 100 gallon totes for the herd and for a neighbor’s pen, etc. They have what they have at any given moment, don’t bother asking if there’s anything in the back, you are in the back when you’re in the front. 2 old guys who know virtually everything there is to know about what they have and what they sell, they’re making ramen in an old coffee pot on the counter, I seriously doubt a woman has ever been in that place and it is bustling- maybe 5 people when I came in, two or three coming in for every one leaving, constant inquiries and everyone finding not only what they need, but 50-100% more than what they came in for. I wind up finding everything- he gives me the solar panels for $30 a piece so I decide to take all three and make an extra- plus four or five items I need but would never have thought of buying if I hadn’t seen them, $300+ cash sale. Everyone appears to pay in cash. The cost to run this place- maybe 2,000 SF- was likely $4,000 a month- low overhead, in an industrial park strip center where every other slot was vacant- a slew of for rent signs were visible everywhere.

    I watched them sell to four or five other customers in less than a half hour and the take for each was between $150 and $400, all cash. Quick estimate was between $2,000 and $4,000 per hour.

    I then went to the other side of town to pick up a document from an attorney that had to then be filed at the Register of Deeds in the Capitol. The attorney had a small residential home for an office, desks in virtually every possible location- former dining room, living room, coat closet, etc. The lighting was HORRIBLE, overhead flourescents, 25% either not working or sputtering, lots of whispering (and not about work), long faces on every employee, huge weight issue for the women, all of the ones I saw were a minimum of 100 pounds over weight and the males were whip thin, effeminate millenials who clearly hated being there. It took me about forty minutes to get the document I needed. I was uber kind and respectful, thanked each person I spoke with- it took four to get the paper- and left as fast as I could. I made it to the Register of Deeds in the city and parked, walked a couple of blocks and when I entered the building went through an airport type security check by a bored looking State policeman- body scanner, little tray for your change and car keys, hand held wand, 9mm pistol on his hip, a real over estimation of the security needs for the place that keeps records on land titles, but that’s government I suppose. It was late afternoon when I entered and it took the officer about five minutes to clear me- I had a knife in my pocket and he was perplexed as to my need for one, despite the fact that I was clearly dressed as a farmer, not an assassin. By the time he let me in the woman in the office was coming out and locking the door. It was- no exaggeration- 4:01 pm. The officer smiled and pointed at the sign 9:00-4:00 and the woman looked at me like I was a remarkably stupid potted pant before she shuffled past me with a mumbled “Closed.”

    I made it back to the truck, hit the highway to the tire place and found myself in line for the toll- it’s a $1- there are six booths for cash, EZ Pass has about half the highway and people with the pass zip along at highway speed. I have been through the toll maybe a hundred times in 7 years and I have never, not once, ever seen more than two booths of the six open, sometimes it’s only one, no matter the hour of the day and there is always a line of 20-50 cars choked up to pay their dollar. I do a quick math problem in my head and figure they take in at least $400-$500 per hour per booth. I have never asked- though I always think it- why there are six booths when they only use 1/3 of them and if the reason they deliberately tie up traffic is to convince people to go to the EZ pass system to avoid the hassle. The toll takers up here are always pleasant so I let it go. I also cannot help but notice a sea change in the appearance of graffiti on the sound barrier walls along the highway. When we moved here I was struck by it’s absence compared to NJ, now it is ubiquitous from one end to another and it looks identical to the graffiti back in the NYC metro area. Even where new walls were currently under construction, every single panel for at least twenty miles was covered in it.

    I get back to pick up the tire and pay for it and cannot help but notice that there are still no customers. I thank them for their prompt service and head back to hearth and home to see if I can get the tire back on and get back to work before darkness sets in.

    Quick recap. The regular economy looks to be slow as hell. Vacancy signs are more visible than business signs, the irregular, fringe semi-black market cash only stores that deal in things that people can use or repair or make do with appears to be booming. The State appears to be extremely fearful of it’s citizens and does a great deal to foster and perpetuate that simmering anger. The vast majority of women in the urban area are very overweight. There are a large number of adults wandering around the urban centers with apparently nothing to do. The marriage age males appear- to my eyes- to be very feminine, I saw at least four young men dressed in what looked like mime clothes, but were in fact just skinny jeans and two sizes too small v neck black sweaters with perfectly coiffed stubble beards carrying latte cups and walking like they were in Milan. Weird. I also saw a lot of people limping, in scooters, heads down, frowning, grey skinned, etc. I did not get the impression that the overall health of the population has improved since the advent of Universal healthcare.

    As I drove home I ate a half a dozen sour apples that my son had put in the truck for me to snack on and as I got closer to home I felt a tremendous weight lift off my shoulders and a smile plant itself across my face. There is one break in the forested swaths along the highway where a sign reads ‘You Are Now Entering The Sunapee- Dartmouth Region’ and in the distance if I look at just the right time I can see the bench land on the southern slope of the mountain where our farm sits, the blazing colors of fall foliage setting it off like a Currier and Ives print and I think how lucky we are to have gotten out before it all comes tumbling down.

     

    15th October 2015 at 8:34 am

  30. Administrator says:

    Retail Sales And GDP Still Far, Far Apart

    http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/retail-sales-and-gdp-still-far-far-apart/

     

    15th October 2015 at 8:55 am

  31. [email protected] says:

    @HSF: Your tale is grim. There it is, right there in front of you, and us, a microcosm of what happens in the decline of Empires. How many of those people you interacted with do you think were actually cognizant of the disarray and fundamental instability of their little worlds?

     

    15th October 2015 at 9:19 am

  32. hardscrabble farmer says:

    I am a naturally upbeat kind of person at this stage of my life- I always look for the amusing or positive in every interaction, know how to craft a quip that fits the moment, etc. I did extremely well with the two old guys in the second hand electronics place- so much so that one is coming up to the farm this weekend for beef. The mechanic was open to some talk- I artfully inquired to the stock on hand, how was business, etc. He wasn’t sharp, but he knew his job and we had a couple of things in common and I focused on those and it was pleasant. The counter guy- I think it was the owner was taciturn in the extreme and seemed to have a lot on his mind. The trucks were new-ish and probably in the 100-150K range each, plus stock on hand, etc and I could sense why his mood was dark. The toll takers are always nice older retired looking folks who say thank you and smile, I have no idea what they earn but with SS its probably not a bad job for them. The law Office folks were miserable. The office was sad, sad, sad and no one wanted to be humored. I was looking through a Grainger catalogue while I was waiting and when I came to the section on lighting I tore out the pages and left it with him/her/xe/xer/whatever with a smile, but he/she/it wasn’t having any of it and I felt like I dodged a bullet getting out of there. I assume the attorneys bill at a rate of 2-3K per hour based on that staff so they seemed awfully happy when they breezed through. The State interactions seemed deliberately provocative although I am sure they weren’t, they’re just used to treating the public like maggots. 4pm closing means 4pm closing, it doesn’t matter if someone drove 2 hours to get there and the Cop wasted eight minutes rifling through my undershorts looking for a toenail clipper- it’s 1 minute past closing time, their Union and you can just come back tomorrow, commoner.

    I did treat myself to a cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts- it was like $3 and the girl who served me was so covered in ritual scarifcation/piercings/tattoos that she look justl ike someone my parents once paid money to let me see at a sideshow at the shore back in the sixties.

    Other than that, it was swell.

     

    15th October 2015 at 9:35 am

  33. Skinny says:

    Quinny is just a Gloomy Gus since Pernille and Long Shanks showed him the door. Back in the day he would put out reports so rosy it would make the CNBC anchors blush. Well maybe not quite, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

     

    15th October 2015 at 9:58 am

  34. Administrator says:

    General Motors’ Q3 vehicle sales fall 3.1%

    By Chelsey Dulaney

    Published: Oct 15, 2015 9:21 a.m. ET

    General Motors Co. on Wednesday said its global vehicle sales fell 3.1% in the third quarter, as booming sales of trucks and crossovers in the U.S. were offset by weakness in global markets such as South America.

    General Motors said it sold 2.33 million vehicles in the quarter, down from 2.41 million a year ago. A 31% decline in South America sales offset a 5.2% sales increase in North America and 1.1% growth in Europe.

    Chevrolet, its biggest brand, saw overall sales slide 9.5% to 1.08 million in the quarter. Despite the overall decline, GM said Chevrolet logged record crossover sales in the U.S. and a 16% increase in U.S. truck sales.

    Buick sales ticked up 3.8%, while GMC sales gained 6.7%. At Baojun, GM’s Chinese brand, sales nearly tripled to 111,000 vehicles.

    General Motors and other big auto makers are benefiting from some of the strongest car sales in years. Shoppers are still enjoying low interest rates, cheap gas and a strengthening economy, spurring the mind-set to buy.

    But General Motors has also struggled with weakness in some international markets, and the auto maker has scaled back or exited operations in places like Russia.

    For the first nine months of the year, GM said sales fell 1.3% to 7.15 million vehicles.

     

    15th October 2015 at 10:06 am

  35. HARBINGER says:

    Well well looks like we are entering into some very interesting times indeed Ezekial 38, Matthew 24, Luke 21 playing out right in front of us the more we push GOD out the worse it will get just my HUMBLE opinion.
    Only time will tel but all of the signs are right if front of us.

    GOD Bless

     

    15th October 2015 at 10:50 am

  36. Iska Waran says:

    HSF,

    They know that if they’d let you into the registrar of deeds’ office with a pen knife, you’d slit that lady’s throat for closing @ 3:59:59 – as well you fucking should. And then they wonder why people go on a rampage.

     

    15th October 2015 at 11:31 am

  37. Iska Waran says:

    OK, quick story. One time I went into the local IRS office, needing to get a copy of a document. The local branch office was ONE ROOM. In it there were two people sitting at desks and one fat security officer standing around. There were no other people there. No one else. I started to ask a question and the security guard shouted out “take a number!”. I looked around and, sure enough, there was a number-dispensing apparatus on the wall. So, despite almost busting out in laughter, I took a number. The lady at the desk waited for about 30 seconds (the silence was deafening) and then called out my number… Yeah, what we need is more government…

     

    15th October 2015 at 11:36 am

  38. BPH says:

    @Lysander: Please provide a link for the $75,000 a year welfare recipient. That strains credulity.

     

    15th October 2015 at 12:04 pm

  39. Montefrío says:

    HSF’s experience at the Registrar of Deeds: Mr. Meat says “Make a mess!” (Zap Comix). Truer words…

    @Lysander: you have my sympathy, because what you wrote appears to be all too true. One of the saddest comments I’ve seen. Guys like you and bb are getting fugged over to a degree that is utterly shameful. I wish I had some suggestions for you, but I’m at a loss.

    @Iska: Thanks for the chuckle! While I feel bad for Lysander and bb, I hope your security guard and desk lady are eaten by the outraged.

     

    15th October 2015 at 12:18 pm

  40. hardscrabble farmer says:

    BPH-

    http://www.snopes.com/new-american-way-life/

    It was a polemic circulating the Interwebs this past Summer. Snopes- a major debunker of all Official State Dogma- yuks it up and tries hard to undermine it, but it appears true. The biggest argument they have is that the list for section 8 housing is so long and the supply so small that you can’t really count free housing as a benefit- pretty thin gruel for even an outfit like Snopes.

     

    15th October 2015 at 12:23 pm

  41. Dutchman says:

    I’ve got a fool proof investment: Ya know that company that makes aftermarket parts for Chrysler 300’s – you know the Bentley grill, bolt on shit, etc. The Nigga’s are never going to stop buying that shit. Go for it – buy long.

     

    15th October 2015 at 1:52 pm

  42. BPH says:

    Thanks, hardscrabble. Just as I thought, the “$75,000 Welfare Recipient” is just more bullshit to be ignored.

     

    15th October 2015 at 1:53 pm

  43. The Real Deal says:

    Just got the word from the company that does my taxes that the penalty for me not buying insurance from the Obama care system is 95 dollars a month

    You might want to look into getting another tax preparer. There is no penalty for not getting insurance through the Obamacare online exchanges: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/DC-Decoder/2013/1101/Obamacare-and-you-Do-I-have-to-have-Obamacare

     

    15th October 2015 at 2:03 pm

  44. phoolish says:

    That comment makes no sense. Why would one go to an on-line exchange to not get insurance?

     

    15th October 2015 at 2:06 pm

  45. The Real Deal says:

    That’s the whole point; you don’t HAVE to go to the online exchange. Hence, being told that you have to pay a penalty for not doing something you don’t have to do is sheer incompetence on the tax preparer’s part.

     

    15th October 2015 at 2:22 pm

  46. phoolish says:

    You are mistaken. Tax preparers MUST do this. As of last year, if you did your own there was no place to report it and thus could avoid it (I think). But Accountant’s etc who prepare taxes MUST have documentary proof of your insurance … as of 2014. If you don’t have proof, they cannot do your taxes … or I’m assuming can do them while also collecting the penalty.

     

    15th October 2015 at 2:37 pm

  47. The Real Deal says:

    No, you are mistaken. The ACA requires you have health insurance. It does NOT require you to buy that insurance via the online health exchanges. “bb” said

    Just got the word from the company that does my taxes that the penalty for me not buying insurance from the Obama care system is 95 dollars a month

    If his/her tax preparer actually said there is a “penalty for..not buying insurance from the Obama care system” they are not only wrong, but apparently incompetent as well.

     

    15th October 2015 at 3:32 pm

  48. IndenturedServant says:

    The stupid is getting stronger.

    A couple of weeks ago I bought a large piece of equipment that has to be delivered because the crate weighs 4000lbs and I don’t have any way of moving it. Today I wake up and find a message on the machine from the moving company wanting to set up delivery. I call them back and ask if they can do it tomorrow since Friday is my only weekday off. They inform me that yes they could but the equipment is not “in” yet. Hmmm I says to myself. Why the fuck would you call me to set up delivery if you don’t have the shit that needs to be delivered? I told the woman that made no sense and she just started laughing.

    I asked if I was missing something or if this was a joke? More laughing. She finally tells me she is the one that does the scheduling (no shit) and just wanted to get me on the schedule. Long silence on my part then I ask how she can schedule the delivery of something that isn’t even in the state yet? Long silence on her part before she says she will call me back.

    WTF?

     

    15th October 2015 at 5:20 pm

  49. yahsure says:

    It all depends on your situation.For me,It’s been going on since 07/08. Many problems are masked with loans/debt. Many are already living in SHTF conditions.

     

    15th October 2015 at 5:23 pm

  50. Beano says:

    You have a negro in control. Remove the negro and all of this will be alleviated. Congress will not remove the forbidden foreign negro so you have a few more years of this.

    Negroes historically have NEVER prospered any country where they have been. When was the last time you saw a negro operate a jewelry store?

     

    15th October 2015 at 5:41 pm

  51. Lysander says:

    @BHP……I don’t blame you for your disbelief. I see that HF posted a link to Snopes which addresses this claim, but is debunking it as well. Here’s a link to the original Article:…http://www.millercountyliberal.com/news/2015-08-19/Opinion/New_American_way_of_life.html

    Snopes has been proven to be full of shit and they have a pro-libtard bias…Link: http://accuracyinpolitics.blogspot.com/2013/05/snopes-got-snoped.html

    Here’s another link that puts the welfare recipient’s bene’s in CT at a mere $44,726 per year. Link:
    http://www.truthorfiction.com/obscene-salaries/

    Okay, if we go with the $44,726 figure, there’s a few things to consider about what the REAL dollar amount is. First of all, there are no taxes paid by the welfare recipient. If I earned $44,762 I would be paying Federal and State income taxes on it.

    Second, that figure doesn’t reflect the adding of the little goodies that I mentioned…the free transportation, free breakfast and lunches, free school supplies, etc.

    Now you may say, “Hey Asshole, those paltry things don’t make up the difference between, $75K and $44K! What are you, stupid?”

    Well, I AM stupid and many have called me an asshole, so you got me there. But I’m saving the best for last, and that is….drumroll please….

    MEDICAL EXPENSES!!! The basic cost of free healthcare shown on .gov figures and charts don’t include the actual cost for each member. If little DeShawn falls off his bike, Moms calls 911 and a taxpayer paid ambulance come and brings him to the emergency room. If little Sasinasta has a sniffle, she goes to the emergence room. If Moms has indigestion from all the McD’s she ate, she goes to, you guessed it! The E-Room. Many of these fat-assed welfare “victims” are diabetic, have bad backs, bad knees, respiratory problems (from chronic smoking of Newports, ganja and crack), poor eyesight, heart conditions, high blood pressure, drug rehab…etc..etc…

    They are on high dollar medications, and require high cost treatment and expensive operations as a result of their poor life choices. So when you look at it from that standpoint, maybe $75K was lowballing it.

    Of course, I haven’t included the costs of repeated arrests, court costs, incarceration, rehabilitation from crime (Hardy-De-Har-Har), State run programs to hire them into .gov jobs for the feeble-minded where they do next to nothing and can’t get fired, and a slew of other side bene’s.

    You get the picture?

     

    15th October 2015 at 5:58 pm

  52. constman54 says:

    No. We never came out of recession. The reset button has yet to be hit. So much consumption has been pulled forward that pretty soon there will no consumption, expect for necessities.

    If you pull all the future consumption forward to today eventually you will get to a day in the future and there will be none left. Who knows how many years have been pulled forward, but when we run out of next years consumption or the year after that etc… eventually we will wind up with a zombie economy.

    It is the same with money. There is a fixed amount of money you can rob from the future. It is possible to rob a certain sum from the future and when you get there still have some left. But there is also an amount that you rob from the future that when you get there you find there is nothing left.

    Many think the Fed can just keep on printing, but that is the same thing as robbing from the future. There is a fixed point in time where it will crash. Someone much smarter than I am could probably get close to marking the day.

    For example. I sometimes get a down payment for a project. That is money I have not yet earned. I have produced nothing other than a proposal, a contract and payment terms, but the client has received nothing tangible from me yet. I may even front-load my monthly draws in order to cash-flow the project, but eventually I have to even it all out or I get to the end of the project and there is no money left to complete it. If there is not enough money to complete the job, because I “robbed” too much money from the future I then have to rob more money from the future to complete today’s project. The old rob Peter to pay Paul syndrome.

    This can go on and on for quite some time. You can be broke for years and not even know it. But eventually the day comes when there is no more money to pull and you have hit that date and you no longer have a company……. or a Country!!

    Goobermint just deals in such large sums and has access to seemingly unending credit so the game can be played for quite a while. But eventually, one day the reset button will be hit. There will be no alternative.

     

    15th October 2015 at 6:51 pm

  53. Mike says:

    I believe that when the economy collapses here, it will cascade around the world. Everyone around the world knows that the US has been propping up the Petrodollar for quite some time. At some point during this collapse, World War III will begin in earnest. The economy will mean little when there are 6 billion dead, and a dead planet as a result of these so called “leaders” phony monetary, foreign, etc. policies.

     

    15th October 2015 at 9:40 pm

  54. Willard Aztec says:

    I started reading your article but when I got to the vulgarity I hung up. Call me a prude or whatever you desire but YOU ARE USING THE SAME WEAPONS THE ENEMY IS USING. You have bought the lie that we can conduct ourselves like dogs and still rise to the top. Can’t be done. When silver is purified the dross rises (temporarily), is scooped off and discarded. Like Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

     

    15th October 2015 at 9:44 pm

  55. Lysander says:

    @Willard Aztec…..Wouldn’t your first clue have been in the fucking TITLE? Oops, I said a bad word and I’m not sorry monsignor, because I really meant to offend your precious candy ass.

    But Hey! Don’t let the door hit you in that ass on the way out! Fucktard.

     

    16th October 2015 at 2:23 am

  56. Piper Michael says:

    What is wrong? I see the voices of confusion by the Illusion of the Mammon propaganda machine.
    Abandon all hope, all ye who enter herein.

    Welcome to Globalization, what they called in the 1990’s, the ‘Information Economy’ that would be born. This was Al Gore. They KNEW what they were doing with NAFTA, and GATT, and Ross Perot WARNED us with charts and graphs, yet he only got 19% of the vote. He called it; “The Great Sucking Sound”, of factories and jobs leaving America, and with it, our wealth creation ability, sacrificed on the Altar of Power, Greed and Global Domination by an Empire of Debt. And now, everybody sees(except a few of us), the Emperor has no clothes, he is also anti-American. An old story, its not only the current Emperor, it is what controls all things including the Emperor. The Rule of Gold, that; He who has the Gold, makes the Rules. And rule #1 is; Usury.

    We have forgotten the lessons of Henry Ford and money that keeps its value over time. His great accomplishment was the invention of ‘Disposable Income’, so that all of his employees could buy a car… The Virtuous Cycle erupted and the modern blue middle class was born. Albeit with problems, of course.

    The VIcious Circle begins now, when it is seen by the whole world that we have lost our monetary minds. The Vicious circle becomes the spiral and means that capital is deteriorating because it pays virtually nothing with zero interest rates against inflation, thus everybody is suffering, looking for growth, but there is no growth, because, we have reached the limits to growth with a system that depends on growth. You can cry and scream at the implications now, or you can get your head around it and do what many of us are doing, its called; Retro

    So money became a vacuous thing called; Fiat, and you and I, if measured by inflation, have not had a pay raise, in 40 YEARS. (Despite all the lies.) But the Rich have gotten richer and the poor poorer. Now they are desperate and do all the wrong things, but, it is mostly to keep themselves in power, rather than to look out for you, haven’t you figured it out yet?

    Its never been about left vs right, its about Haves vs Have nots. The 1% virtually own everything now, and we were too stupid to know that we were being played, but we have always been played by those who hold the reigns.

    The only way to beat the bastards is to quit playing The Game.
    Myself, I used to be a Network Systems Engineer, a Manager at a Fortune 100 company, I went Galt, now I’m learning to become a blacksmith… Fuck the System, I’m getting off.

    How do you like your great sucking sound?

     

    16th October 2015 at 2:35 am

  57. Piglet says:

    Yet another confirmation on the true state of the economy: “Freight traffic continues to fall despite modest intermodal gains.”

    http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/freight/class-i/freight-traffic-continues-to-fall-despite-modest-intermodal-gains.html?channel=50&utm_source=WhatCounts%2c+Publicaster+Edition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=RGN+10.16.15&utm_content=Freight+traffic+continues+to+fall+despite+modest+intermodal+gains

     

    16th October 2015 at 6:52 am

  58. ct236 says:

    Why all the gloom? The people in the flying car at the end of the article don’t seem to be doing so bad.

     

    16th October 2015 at 7:59 am

  59. TE says:

    Love this place and the commenters. Couple things.

    The discussion over Obamacare is moot. @bb is an independent contractor/small biz guy, he HAS to file and pay taxes EVERY year. He WILL pay a penalty unless he has Obamacare APPROVED insurance. Yes, you can buy policies that do not meet the requirements (but that meets your actual needs), but unless an “approved” level of coverage (free birth control, huge deductibles for everything else, even bigger pricetag) he WILL pay a fine or suffer asset confiscation/jail if he doesn’t comply. That is the way taxes work, pay, or else. Including a 100% penalty for failure to pay/file. My son, whom has insurance through his job but not for his family, either pays $700 a month (on a salary of $32k a year gross) for his family, or he pays a percentage of income in fines. Even though not married – because of the damned insurance issue, the state will cover his daughter – his girlfriend, a stay-at-home mom, would cost $200 a month on Obamacare, the fine is magnitudes less than that. They pay the fine on their taxes and thankfully we are the only two families I know where not one of us has a daily prescription with constant trips to the doctor. Thank God for real health found in nature, not Walgreens.

    The $75k welfare arguement is also a strawman. The reality is that a mother of three would have to get a job EARNING $75k a year to make up for what would be lost by leaving the dole. First comes taxes, then SS, then local taxes, then no more reduced price housing, no more free healthcare with zero deductibles, no more free school breakfasts and lunches, no more foodstamps, no more reduced rates for utilities. A family of four making $75k ARE the “rich” the politicians are always talking about. As if someone can find a job making that much unless already connected, with or without a damned degree. No, she doesn’t “get” $75,000 a year. But it would take a job earning that much to make the family even, and that is without the expenses of state sanctioned, ‘er regulated, daycare. Wake up.

    As for the cars and rebates. I live in Metro Detroit, all the car ads run the costs/prices for the UNION employees and their families. I couldn’t get the 15% back. And since they have been financing with ZERO down, rolling tax, title and licenses into the loan, it would be a check back for most as it has become the norm to “buy” houses and cars for full price (and taxable value), then get off-book “rebates” and “refunds” that go straight to your pocket. Another obvious indictment of our educational system when “educated” people don’t understand that the $20k “extra” recorded as your home sales price is going to screw you for the entirety of your home’s ownership as most places start your property taxes based on stated sales price. This has been going on for at least 11 years. When we bought our home the realtor and title company thought we were nuts for wanting our “concessions” off the topline price (thus resulting in lower tax bill for the seller and a place to fight to right our property taxes). They pushed HARD to get the seller (a developer that had made a bad deal) and us to capitulate because THEIR fees/paychecks were based on topline sales price. We, apparently, were the only buyers NOT falling for that crap. Needless to say it took over 11 months for them to register the title, the agent has never contacted us again, and we obviously pissed off a lot of people by not playing that game. On the other hand the seller has been a “friend” and we keep in touch for over 11 years now. I’m not shedding many tears over the title company, which, btw, managed to register our loans and the title with papers that were not signed as a typo that was fixed the day of close found it way into the legal documents. Documents that cannot be located by the banks!

    Everything is corrupted, dirty, convoluted. HSF’s drama was a perfect picture of a day in the life of a city. Add to that the fact most restaurants are FILTHY now, as the special little snowflakes we have raised, and their X’er/Boomer managers, no longer care if windows are washed, nor floors, nor tables. I HATE to think about the status of the kitchens as anyone whom has ever worked in restaurants can attest, if the dining room is dirty the kitchen is a FILTH pit.

    We are de-volving at a record clip now. I watched the slow-motion downslide for years, it is accelerating at breakneck speed now.

    Good luck all, we are sure as hell going to need it.

     

    16th October 2015 at 9:00 am

  60. A. R. Wasem says:

    Some confusion out there about Obongocare penalties. Yes there are penalties; BUT – the InfernalRS cannot use it’s usual enforcement methods to collect the penalties if they are “owed”. The ONLY way they can collect is to DEDUCT the penalty amounts from amounts owed to the taxpayers on account of refunds or other amounts due to the taxpayers from the fedgov. Reason is Congress failed to provide the usual “affirmative” penalty enforcement means for the IRS when they enacted Obongocare. Provides a rare “legit” opportunity to give the Service the finger – just make sure that you’re in balance or paying when filing. BC-LR – ARW

     

    16th October 2015 at 11:48 am

  61. mike in ga says:

    Local GM dealers here are jam-packed with more vehicles than I’ve ever seen on the lots. Anecdotal, I know, but they’re parking ’em within inches of each other so only the skinny jeans lot jockey boys can get in and out and they are renting adjacent fields to handle overflow. I’d like to get a go-pro drone to overfly the lots to show the sea of shiny, new and unsold. We also have Mercedes dealership that is black-owned so most Mercedes drivers (75% plus) are black. My guess is 95% are leased. There are buyers for all the brands since that obnoxious radio advertising just ropes in the math-challenged status-seekers and the roads are filled with expensive new vehicles.

    Yesterday I walked out of two different hair cutting joints – one for sheer incompetence at the counter (Great Clips) and the 2nd at a independent because the only woman available was sitting in the chair, with her candy-apple red head lowered into her iphone but the hair from a previous client was still littering the floor. I asked, “If you don’t clean up the floor and the chair between clients why should I trust that your other tools are sterilized?” She responded, “I will clean it up if you want me to” and started sweeping. I just walked out.

    Everywhere I look I see us circling the drain.

     

    16th October 2015 at 3:36 pm

  62. Westcoaster says:

    So long as we’re all bitching about Obamacare, I just got off the phone with Covered California (our state “exchange” regarding a letter I received today that was demanding I prove a negative!
    See, my wife recently turned 65 and became eligible for Medicare. Some of you young’uns probably don’t know that Medicare is not “free”. In order to be eligible for Medicare part “b” you must pay up and it’s taken straight out of your social security. In my wife’s case, about $104 a month. And she chose a supplement plan w/o a monthly payment. I’m not bitching about that cost.
    First off, you need to know all the correspondence with Cov Cal is addressed to the wife since I entered her name first when initially signing up. So this letter arrives today addressed to her, saying that “You do not qualify for Cov Cal Plan, Premium Tax Credits, Enhanced Silver plan because:

    Other Health Insurance
    We were unable to verify that you do NOT (my caps) have health insurance from your job (or a family member’s job), COBRA or a government program such as Medicare or Medi-Cal.

    So they’re demanding I prove a negative! I’m furious and call them. Went through the phone tree about 3 levels and finally get to the button to connect to a real person. Immediately get a fast busy.

    Now I’m really pissed, they’re not getting off THAT easily. So I redial and pressed some different buttons but succeeding in getting a person. After we go through all the verify your ID BS, she finally figures out this is COV CAL’s way of saying, we are cutting off your old insurance because you now have Medicare. And I don’t really have to “prove” anything for my own coverage to continue.

    So here’s the kicker….I still haven’t received an adjusted bill for just my coverage. Health Net told me that would take 30 working days. Previous for both of us it was $196.40 a month and nothing else has changed. So I ask, what’s my new premium? $180.25. So I get to pay the $180.25 for my coverage, plus we lose the $104 to Medicare. So bottom line, our health insurance just increased by about 30% monthly. We will sure as shit NOT be spending more right about the now.

     

    16th October 2015 at 8:35 pm

  63. Jay Sherman says:

    It’s GOOD that retail sales are slowing! Maybe some people are finally getting the picture and saving their money, instead of buying all of the Chinese crap that they don’t need?

    Whether retail sales boom or crumble, doesn’t really matter- our economy is going down either way, because we are over-taxed, over-regulated and have made it so that no one in their right mind would start a business here (in the land of the 2nd-highest corporate income tax rate in the world) which actually produces anything.

    Wealth is not something which just exists for the taking, or can be redistributed. Wealth must be created by capable people- and now-a-days we do nothing but DISCOURAGE the production of wealth, and confiscate and redistribute it when it is still created.

    Communism doesn’t work. We are about to see that, fully.

     

    16th October 2015 at 9:50 pm

  64. PaulTheCabDriver says:

    I was stopped by a cop for out of date tags the other day. I was driving on a temporary tag until we fixed the emissions and the tag had fallen off the window & was on the back seat. I re-taped the sign, & the cop was satisfied. “Do you have any questions?” he asked me. “Yeah. How do you fix the oxygen sensor on this car?” He and I both laughed…
    You don’t ask a cop for advice fixing your car. And in a similar vein, you don’t ask a physicist for fix an economy. Nor do you ask a politician.
    The problem is not “capitalism”. the problem is government interfering in business, thinking they are a smart cop who can fix an emissions system. Stop asking the government to “fix” the economy. They don’t even know how it works.

     

    17th October 2015 at 10:17 am

  65. mike in ga says:

    Excellent point, Paul.

    One of the common phrases I remember from growing up was “There ought to be a law!” After a while it occurred to me that the constant demand for specific laws is actually met by a constant supply out of congress and it was not a good thing. “We bring this on ourselves”, I thought, and a conservative was born.

    On the economy – now – it’s even worse. The more they “do” to “fix” the economy, the worse the problems get. I don’t see how we avoid collapse given the unrestrained growth of government with the strangulation of regulation limiting the opportunity for individuals to compete and succeed.

     

    17th October 2015 at 10:42 am

  66. Rise Up says:

    HSF: “I did not get the impression that the overall health of the population has improved since the advent of Universal healthcare.”
    ================================================
    I realize you meant this in jest, HSF, as we all know that improved health of the population was not the intent of Obummercare–it was improved health of the medical INDUSTRY.

     

    17th October 2015 at 11:28 am

  67. Jay Sherman says:

    Well-said, Mike and Paul!

    Gotta love these asshats who are always ragging on capitalism. Funny, ’cause real free-market capitalism has not been practiced in this country for over 100 years now, if it ever was truly practiced. What we have instead, is much closer to a communist economic model- i.e. we have the redistribution of wealth and confiscatory taxes; every little thing regulated to the hilt; a central government bank which prints worthless fiat money and determines the value of it and sets interest rates, etc. And naturally, since communism/socialism does not work, the more we practice it, the worse things get- and the asshats want even more of it??!!

     

    17th October 2015 at 12:40 pm

  68. BRho says:

    Here ya go from 1770:

    Alexander Fraser Tyler, Cycle Of Democracy (1770)

    Found 1 result for Alexander Fraser Tyler, Cycle Of Democracy (1770)

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to Complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.

     

    17th October 2015 at 5:59 pm

  69. gm says:

    Went to the Georgia national fair last week , HAD a blast . Blew 200 bucks riding rides doing whatever the kids wanted . Since previous fair trips were non existent or very low budget .
    We went looking at the exhibits and stuff . Local car dealer had doge jeep etc showcased . I almost fell out Jeep grand Cherokee was 49 thousand and change . Im very fortunate to have a good paying job atm but how the heck does anyone swing a $1000 car note? And every dealership I drive by has a crap load of cars on the lot . Ive read where a car loan should not be more than 1/3rd or your salary . So who the heck makes so much that after taxes ,state local and federal and all the other crap like mandatory health insurance can comfortably afford that ? I will take a good used car for 5k .and pay cash for it .

     

    17th October 2015 at 8:58 pm

  70. Jay Sherman says:

    GM, I’m surprised that they actually sell as many new cars as they do. I’ve never had a car payment in my life (I’m 53)- Just won’t do it! But even ignoring the financial issues, why would anyone buy one of these cars which are so needlessly complex and overburdened with electronics and computerized garbage, that once they are out of warranty, it does not make financial sense to repair them?! They’re weighed-down with ridiculous luxuries that only millionaires should have; and they’re stuffed with governernment-mandated air bags, back-up cameras, ABS (which actually makes stopping diostances longer), a black box, yada yada….. I just want a simple, durable, safe (full-sized) car without all the BS! Not controls on the steering wheel; not plastic bumbers that you can’t bump without doing $2K worth of damage; not heated seats and mirrors and DVD players…..; Not an 8-speed automatic or disposable CVT tranny- just a good old manual is fine for me.

    They’ve even destroyed the reliability of diesels, festooning them with electronics and various complex systems which take away the simplicity which once made diesels so great!

    There’s not one vehicle on the market that I’d buy. Every 10-15 years when it’s time for a “new” vehicle, I keep moving to older and older stuff.

     

    17th October 2015 at 11:15 pm

  71. phoolish says:

    “” Ive read where a car loan should not be more than 1/3rd or your salary .””

    I think you are confusing cars and houses. The old guidance was 1/4 of your salary for your shelter as a comfortable level that most could make work, but never to exceed 1/3. I’m not aware of any old time guidance along these lines for cars. I think the notion that 1/3 of your income should go to a car payment would have been mind-blowing to our ancestors.

     

    18th October 2015 at 6:44 am

  72. gm says:

    @phoolish your right I stand corrected !!
    @jay I think the 7 year zero percent rates add to the car sales but omg 7 friggen years? and I hate all the computerized accessories ! I see so many people in my drivethru with power windows that don’t work its insane . less than 4 year old cars they drive .

     

    18th October 2015 at 8:30 am

  73. KaD says:

    Wal-Mart’s Worst Stock Crash In 27 Years Is Another Sign That The Economy Is Rapidly Falling Apart: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/wal-marts-worst-stock-crash-in-27-years-is-another-sign-that-the-economy-is-rapidly-falling-apart

     

    18th October 2015 at 11:59 am

  74. KaD says:

    The best measure of the health of the world’s economy is the Baltic Dry Index (BDI). After reaching record lows in March of 2015, the BDI briefly rallied. However, that rally appears to have been no more than the traditional “dead man’s bounce”. Reports from October 15, 2015, indicate another downward spiraling plunge is underway, once again.

    The major danger associated with a flat BDI is that it indicates that credit is hard to obtain. Obtaining credit is a prerequisite to shipping product, namely, food. According to the persistent low BDI figures, America is an economic setback from the total disruption of food shipments.

    A record low BDI is a bigger threat to the American people than the military activities of the Chinese and the Russians. Americans could go to bed this Friday night and by Monday, the food shelves could be empty. Mass starvation would commence within days. This is America’s biggest national security threat.
    http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2015/10/16/food-riots-are-coming/

     

    18th October 2015 at 12:00 pm

  75. KaD says:

    The “snapping” comment was a reference to Kupelian’s new book, “The Snapping of the American Mind,” in which the author proposes multiple levels of solutions to healing America, which has been practically destroyed by what he terms a “lawless government and godless culture.” He shared some of his ideas with Noory’s audience of 3-5 million listeners earlier this week.

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/10/journalist-tackles-problem-of-healing-a-broken-america/#0cxbTe3VpVSHQsi5.99

     

    18th October 2015 at 12:01 pm

  76. phoolish says:

    Contribution at church is drastically down over the last month … like a 50% decline.

     

    18th October 2015 at 4:00 pm

  77. starfcker says:

    KaD, the world economy is a mirage. If it wasn’t for widespread counterfeiting, it would have been rightsized in 2008. It’s only kept afloat by counterfeiting and our willingness to destroy america with trade deficits. We the people never agreed to that.

     

    18th October 2015 at 5:42 pm

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