Tag: The Economy

Debunking the Myth of “The Greatest Economy Ever” | The Smirking Chimp

Donald Trump routinely claims he “built the greatest economy in the history of the world.” It is a claim rarely challenged in the mainstream media. If true, it would be at least part of a possible claim for re-election. But is it true? There are five things we need to know to evaluate Trump’s claim to economic wizardry.

Debunking the Myth of “The Greatest Economy Ever” | The Smirking Chimp

Old Dog Thoughts- If it wasn’t real it should be a musical. Remember the song Spring Time for Hitler

Fighting Fake News with REAL; 16/9/20; Australian Economy, The Shovel, Morrison’s gas; Who took the Shrooms and wrote a script for Trump?

Parliament lets Scott Morrison know who his tribe is – and it isn’t the premiers and chief ministers | Katharine Murphy | Australia news | The Guardian

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison

 

Frydenberg has stepped in front and center to try to deflect all the blame onto Victoria after all if The Commonwealth is found to be responsible for the outbreak of Covid in aged-care due to poorly regulated providers then they too are to blame for the crippling of the economy and not as Frydenberg would prefer it to be Andrews work. It seems Andrews doesn’t even need to buy into what’s patently obvious. (ODT)

Morrison has accepted some accountability for what’s happened, but he’s also kept Andrews squarely in the frame as I mentioned a moment ago. I’ve said before it is reasonable to point out that states have a role in managing outbreaks during the pandemic, and there are some overlapping responsibilities in aged care – but this offensive should also be called for what it is: a patent prime ministerial effort to sidestep blame. The prime ministerial sidestep is obviously effective, though, if our Guardian Essential poll is a reliable guide. When asked in the latest survey to identify who was to blame for the outbreaks in aged care during the pandemic, slightly more respondents identified the state government (30%) than the federal government (28%) – but more people blamed the providers (42%).

Parliament lets Scott Morrison know who his tribe is – and it isn’t the premiers and chief ministers | Katharine Murphy | Australia news | The Guardian

Before Covid inflicted carnage, the Australian economy was struggling | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

construction in Sydney

When everything is going downhill at speed it’s easy to pretend that beforehand everything was fine

Before Covid inflicted carnage, the Australian economy was struggling | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

Coronavirus: Pandemic could kill off governments’ credit rating bogeyman

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe during a Senate select committee hearing.

At the parliamentary hearing, he said: “From my perspective, creating jobs for people is much more important than preserving the credit ratings. I have no concerns at all about the state governments being able to borrow more money at low interest rates. The Reserve Bank is making sure that’s the case.” At one level, this is a sign of the momentous times we live in. Governments around the world are borrowing massively as the only way they can think of to overcome the coronacession. With interest rates on long-term government borrowing at unprecedented lows, what have they go to fear?

Coronavirus: Pandemic could kill off governments’ credit rating bogeyman

Tribal prejudices about wages guarantee a weak recovery

Wage growth has recorded its lowest growth since records were kept. Illustration: Greg Newington

 

Wage growth has recorded its lowest growth since records were kept. Illustration: Greg NewingtonCredit:

 

Wage growth is the key to recovery because wages are the greatest single driver of economic activity and employment. But rather than thinking of ways to get wages up, both sides are working on ways to slow them further.

Not that private sector employers will need any help. They always skip pay rises during recessions because, afraid of losing their jobs, workers know they’re in no position to argue.

But, while as individuals, firms benefit from cutting the real value of the wages they pay, especially when all of them do it at the same time, they all suffer because the nation’s households have less money to spend on the products of the nation’s businesses.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul ain’t stimulus

via Tribal prejudices about wages guarantee a weak recovery

Do the grandchildren really pay the debt? The problem with Scott Morrison’s plan for recovery, and MMT – Michael West

MMT, JobKeeper

This fixation with balancing the Budget – the very thing which they deemed so critical in managing the economy – was the very thing which has been damaging the economy.

There are two ways to balance a budget: cut spending or raise taxes. The latter ran counter to party ideology, so Josh Frydenberg cut spending. Cutting spending withdraws money from the community. It is deflationary. So it was that lower spending meant lower economic activity. Growth drifted lower, so did inflation, so did interest rates. Lending criteria got tighter. Then the housing market got an attack of the wobbles.

The Libs are fond of talking about their Shopkeeper Theory; that is, that every shopkeeper must balance the books. Or they go out of business. So it is that the Government too must balance its books, they say, and the idea of balanced budgets is deployed as a weapon to bash political opponents.

The fact is that shopkeepers don’t issue their own currency. Shopkeepers don’t have a banking system to buy their bonds. Shopkeepers can’t create money.

The consummate paradox is that, while they deny the efficacy of what central banks are doing, what MMT describes – and espouse ShopKeeper Theory, the world’s central banks are actually creating new money anyway via QE. They are watching it happen while denying they can see it.

Do the grandchildren really pay the debt? The problem with Scott Morrison’s plan for recovery, and MMT – Michael West

Testing, testing, by James Thompson – The Unz Review

Since posting that on 26 February much has changed. Country after country has been set the IQ test, and the results have varied. China, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan are well ranked, though China may have cheated. Italy and Spain are towards bottom of the class. Sweden’s results are still being marked, but very much worth watching. Holland has also tried an intelligent, adult approach, with many shops open, but as death rates rise may move to more severe lockdown. The US is a new arrival to the class, and will be evaluated in a few week’s time.

If you don’t have tests, or treatments, you have to use social distancing. Social distancing works if everyone does it, but if only 10% cheat, then the effect is blunted.

On a broader front, this pandemic raises the question: how much of our economy is strictly necessary? The essentials of food growing, processing and distribution probably account for no more than 4% of the working age population. Power generation and basic utilities perhaps another 4%. Perhaps the remnant 92% will all be bloggers.

via Testing, testing, by James Thompson – The Unz Review

The state and the economy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It is welcome then that this federal government, intrinsically reactionary, prone to lassitude, ignorant, arrogant in its ignorance, has turned on the sluice gates. For lack of grounding, it is forced into the ultimate in pragmatism, dependent on a federal Treasury out of its depth.

But will it change its ways after this crisis relents? There’s no evidence, as there is no evidence of such to date in any other country. With a nasty budget black hole, that ‘bigger role’ will, in all likelihood, not be turned to permanently enhancing Newstart or abolishing Robodebt siphoning but to further tightening the screws.

via The state and the economy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Trump’s Rosy Economic Outlook Is a Big Lie | The Smirking Chimp

As per an analysis by FiveThirtyEight.com, the 3.5% unemployment figure is misleading; only about half of all employable Americans are working full time, 10% are working part time, 2.1% are actively seeking work but are unemployed, and 1.8% are not seeking work but want a job. A whopping 35% are out of the job market and not actively seeking work.

via Trump’s Rosy Economic Outlook Is a Big Lie | The Smirking Chimp

Trump Is Just Plain Bad at Managing the Economy | The Smirking Chimp

President Trump and his aides are sending two simultaneous, contradictory messages about the economy: That it is booming, and everything is fine. And that it is time for emergency measures to keep this boom going.

It’s also certainly quite interesting that Team Trump, in private meetings with wealthy donors, is warning that a recession is coming. Meanwhile, on social media—where the regular people who like him get their information—Hair Twitler said the economy is “very strong.” You know that when the shit does hit the fan, Trump’s donors are going to end up much better off than his average Twitter follower.

via Trump Is Just Plain Bad at Managing the Economy | The Smirking Chimp

Americans (and others) duped by fake news and tweets

Most recent news on the U.S. economy has been upbeat and triumphant but the reality, as Alan Austin reports, is different.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S ceaseless bragging about the U.S. economy being “the best in the World and in our Country’s history” has gained traction.

Many “news” outlets spruik record jobs, record economic growth, record government revenue, record stock market levels and a record economy overall. Sounds like extraordinary boom times for the USA.

The reality is virtually the opposite. When Trump won office, America’s economy ranked 23rd in the world and 15th in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). That’s the club of 36 wealthy developed capitalist economies.

Today, the U.S. economy ranks outside the world’s top 40 and outside the OECD’s top 20. That is almost certainly its lowest ranking ever.

via Americans (and others) duped by fake news and tweets

The Economy and the Election | The Smirking Chimp

Riding on Obama’s shoulders Trump’s Record (ODT)

We’re 16 months away from the 2020 presidential election. It’s likely that the U.S. economy will weaken. Trump will be responsible. HIs approval rating will decline.

via The Economy and the Election | The Smirking Chimp

With rate cuts and the real risk of a recession ahead, can Australia’s economic run of luck continue? – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A comparison of real GDP quarter on quarter and year on year over the last 30 years.

FAKE NEWS THE LNP HAVE IMPROVED THE ECONOMY. $80 Mill MEDIA CON (ODT)

That points to an exceptionally weak economy, susceptible to a growing list of potential international shocks; a message starkly at odds with that presented at the budget and the election.

Just two months ago, we were promised a decade of federal budget surpluses based upon a strong and recovering economy.
When a housing slump collides with rising unemployment

That’s the problem with booms. They tend to unwind, occasionally in spectacular fashion, especially when they’ve been supercharged with debt.

via With rate cuts and the real risk of a recession ahead, can Australia’s economic run of luck continue? – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Untold Story of Trump’s ‘Booming’ Economy | The Smirking Chimp

American workers get 14 days vacation when most OECD countries get 28

Yeah, yeah, yeah, unemployment is low and the stock market is high. But skyrocketing stocks benefit only the top 10 percent of wealthy Americans who own 84 percent of stocks. And while more people are employed now than during the Great Recession, the vast majority of Americans haven’t had a real raise since 1979.It’s bad out there for American workers. Last month, their ranking dropped for the third year running in the World Happiness Report,

Forty percent of workers say they don’t have $400 for an unexpected expense. Twenty percent can’t pay all of their monthly bills. More than a quarter of adults skipped needed medical care last year because they couldn’t afford it. A quarter of adults have no retirement savings.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers predicted the corporate tax cut would put an extra $4,000 in every worker’s pocket. They swore that corporations would use some of their tax cut money to hand out raises and bonuses to workers. That never happened. Workers got a measly 6 percent of corporations’ tax savings. In the first quarter after the tax cut took effect, workers on average received a big fat extra $6.21 in their paychecks, for an annual total of a whopping $233. Corporations spent their tax breaks on stock buybacks, a record $1 trillion worth, raising stock prices, which put more money in the pockets of rich CEOs and shareholders.

That’s continuing this year. Workers are never going to see that $4,000.

No wonder they’re unhappy. The system is working against them.

via The Untold Story of Trump’s ‘Booming’ Economy | The Smirking Chimp

Trump’s tax cuts: 4 ways they changed the American economy – CNN

“The thing that’s related that I’m more concerned about is, we will eventually face another recession,” says Oh, of UCLA. “And what we’ve done through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is use a bunch of the tools that we need to deal with the next recession, at a time when we don’t have a recession.”

1. Corporate taxes fell off a cliff, fueling deeper deficits

2. A short-term economic boost is fading

3. Rich people gained more than poor people

4. Most other impacts: Either too soon to tell or too hard to see

via Trump’s tax cuts: 4 ways they changed the American economy – CNN

Trump will score another win if Big Media fetishizes his soap opera while the working class suffers | Salon.com

 

Just as in 2016, the actual economic conditions of the American people will be the defining issue for 2020. Ignoring it, or giving Trump a pass on the economy, will permit him to make the campaign about everything and anything else.

The corporate news media is doing it all over again — still equating aggregate national unemployment data and a robust stock market with a strong economy. And they have developed the face saving construct that Trump won only because the Russians stole the election, not because the media missed the slow motion collapse of capitalism that Trump exploited by convincing just enough people he had a magical time machine that could transport us all back to those halcyon days when the middle class was expanding.

For these get-Trump newshounds it’s always Mueller-time.

Their master script is that POTUS is the Don of a Russian/American organized crime family that stole the American election.

That could all be true, yet if Mueller comes up short of actually taking Trump out, the media’s fixation on the intrigue will only inoculate Trump.

Can’t you hear it now . . . ‘I told you-NO COLLUSION.’

Just as in 2016, the actual economic conditions of the American people will be the defining issue for 2020. Ignoring it, or giving Trump a pass on the economy, will permit him to make the campaign about everything and anything else.

via Trump will score another win if Big Media fetishizes his soap opera while the working class suffers | Salon.com

Donald Trump regrets choosing Federal Reserve chief Jerome “Jay” Powell

Greg Sheridan of Murdoch’s Australian keeps insisting ” don’t listen to what Trump says pay attention to what he does. He’s not that bad”. Good one Sheridan even  broken clock is right twice a day.( ODT)

In a wide-ranging and sometimes discordant 20-minute interview with The Washington Post, Trump complained at length about Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome “Jay” Powell, whom he nominated earlier this year. He argued that rising interest rates and other Fed policies were damaging the economy – as evidenced by GM’s announcement this week that it was laying off 15 per cent of its workforce – though he insisted that he is not worried about a recession.

“I’m doing deals, and I’m not being accommodated by the Fed,” Trump said. “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

He added: “So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay. Not even a little bit. And I’m not blaming anybody, but I’m just telling you I think that the Fed is way off-base with what they’re doing.”

via Donald Trump regrets choosing Federal Reserve chief Jerome “Jay” Powell

A rising tide is great if you own a boat – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Coalition works on the theory that “a rising tide lifts all boats”, which is all very well if you happen to own a boat. The majority of the population is either bailing hard to stay afloat, treading water or drowning.

In the last five years, the world’s economies have made a strong recovery. Investment has returned, GDP is growing, profits are up and jobs are being created.

The problem is that all this extra wealth is going to the people who already own boats.

In 2017, the top ten percent owned 50.3 per cent of all wealth in Australia. The top one per cent’s share was 22.9 per cent while the bottom 60 per cent’s share was 15.3 per cent.

A rising tide is great if you own a boat – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Can American Democracy survive six Standing Wars? | Informed Comment

dower_violent

Whether the rationale is the need to wage a war on terror involving 76 countries or renewed preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China (as Defense Secretary James Mattis suggested recently while introducing America’s new National Defense Strategy), the U.S. military is engaged globally. A network of 800 military bases spread across 172 countries helps enable its wars and interventions. By the count of the Pentagon, at the end of the last fiscal year about 291,000 personnel (including reserves and Department of Defense civilians) were deployed in 183 countries worldwide, which is the functional definition of a military uncontained. Lady Liberty may temporarily close when the U.S. government grinds to a halt, but the country’s foreign military commitments, especially its wars, just keep humming along.

via Can American Democracy survive six Standing Wars? | Informed Comment