1.1% “Growth” isn’t…

In the financial news we have this last quarter’s “growth” given as 1.1% for the quarter.

UPDATE: My Bad. Watching the news crawler, it states it is “1.1% annualized rate this quarter”, not just for the quarter. So all the below discussion that shows 1.1% / quarter is really nothing is really 4 times that bad… I’ll adjust the numbers to reflect the annual basis of the quarterly number.

The problem is that 1.1% “growth” is no such thing. For background, read:
https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/gdp-government-growth-and-the-incredible-power-of-stupid/

First off, we have to de-rate it for actual inflation. Good luck figuring out that number, since the government numbers have been “cooked” since the Ronald Reagan years when it was redefined. The official Fed Target is about 2% / year, and last time I looked at it, the official number was about 1%, but the real number is significantly higher.

Shadow Stats tries to do that, and their chart for 2016 shows, by my read, about 4% or 8% depending on which of the prior official methods you choose to use. Split the difference and call it 6%/year consumer inflation. That’s 1.5% / quarter.

Simply using the less cooked inflation methods, the entire quarterly “growth” evaporates into an inflation artifact. Much more in line with my personal experience, and more reflective of reality, IMHO.

UPDATE: Using the annualized 1.1%, that 6% annualized actual inflation covers it 5 times over.

But then we have the added problem that GDP includes Government Spending. How much of that 1.1% was growth of GOVERNMENT?

From the Wiki on the U.S. Budget, we find these numbers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget

In the fourth paragraph:

During fiscal year 2015, the Federal government received approximately $3.25 trillion in tax and fee revenue and had outlays (spending) of $3.7 trillion; the difference was a $440 billion deficit.

Under “Major Expenditure Categories” it refines this a bit to:

During FY2015, the federal government spent $3.68 trillion on a budget or cash basis, up $182 billion or 5% vs. FY2014 spending of $3.50 trillion.

Though we ought to note that the budget submissions are a tiny bit different. Down at the bottom:

2016 United States federal budget – $4.0 trillion (submitted 2015 by President Obama)
2015 United States federal budget – $3.9 trillion (submitted 2014 by President Obama)

So looks like asked for $3.9 T and actually spent about $3.7 T (to the extent any government numbers are “actual”…)

The 2016 Budget is $4 Trillion. So we have roughly $300 Billion of “growth” of GDP baked in the cake from just The Federal Budget. 4/3.7 = 1.08 or an 8% increase. That’s 2% Government Growth / quarter. Or about 1/2 % GDP “growth” just from government growth. ( really 1/5 of 2% or 0.4%, but then we would need to figure growth of State and Local budgets too to get real government growth. The point is it knocks off the fractional part of this quarter’s “growth” all by its lonesome.)

UPDATE: Using the 1.1% as annual, not quarterly, means Government Growth of just the Federal government at 8% times an 18% Fed take of GDP, gives 1.44 % of “annual GDP Growth” just from The Federal Budget alone. That means the “private sector” shrank a real 0.34% of GDP given the 1.1% annual rate number. Take out Government we’re in a recession.

Slop in these numbers? Oh hell yes. It ignores ‘ex-budget’ expenditures that are now quite large (most of our “wars” on the rest of the world and anything the party in power wants to demonize). The usual slop in anything from the Government (like, was that Iranian 1.9 Billion a budget item? I don’t think so Tim…) The fact is that the stats are cooked the other way much of the time (they are made by government employees under the “guidance” of politicians). And more.

But the key “takeaway” is that anything down in the 1% range is way deep in the error bands of reality. And those error bands are not symmetrical about the value, but strongly biased to making the Government and Politicians look good even when things are really bad.

Like employment numbers where many folks have started to catch on that they are just “plug numbers”:
http://nypost.com/2016/07/09/labor-deptartments-job-numbers-might-as-well-come-from-a-lottery/

And a recent month had folks crowing over the big job growth of something like 200,000 when in fact almost all of it was a ‘seasonal adjustment’. There had been no real jobs added, but a ‘seasonal adjustment’ made them appear… Yes, you do need to allow for the Christmas hiring binge and seasonal farm jobs, but just don’t be fooled into thinking that adjusting out those folks losing their job every year at the same time is the equivalent of creating jobs.

http://nypost.com/2016/05/07/job-growth-is-swirling-down-the-drain/

Job growth is swirling down the drain

By John Crudele

May 7, 2016 | 10:00am

Yikes! Splat! Plop! Oy vey!

Job growth fell hard in April as the government’s employment numbers confirmed the disappointing reality already self-evident on nearly every Main Street across the US.

The economy was a loser this spring, and the statistical proof of this is catching up with reality.

The Labor Department on Friday announced that only 160,000 jobs were created last month. Put another way, most economists think that is barely enough to absorb even the people looking to enter the job market for the first time, much less give work to the 7.9 million Americans looking for a job.
[…]

That bigger problem is this: included in the 160,000 figure are 233,000 phantom jobs that Labor added to the mix.

Yet $Billions of Quatloos of bets will be placed in the financial markets based on these bogus statistics. (Though it looks like someone is trying to make “real” virtual money out of Quatloos…)

In Conclusion

So IMHO that’s why the financial markets did a jump up on the first report of growth and The Fed talking up raising interest rates, then took a dive on the realization both were just bogus shadow plays. The “growth” is a statistical hand waving exercise and The Fed is busy saying everything is great we’re gonna raise rates Real Soon Now ™! while then saying “except maybe not as things are not all that great”…

To me, the reality looks a whole lot more like stealth inflation being passed off as economic “growth” and the increasing government bloat that is destroying the private economy being passed off as jobs.

Sigh.

I long for the days when folks just spoke the truth clearly and accepted the consequences.

I am not made younger by calling me “senior” instead of old. I am not made thin by calling me plus-size instead of fat. I am not made rich by making my dollar worth less nor am I given a job by seasonal adjustments.

And folks wonder why I sometimes rant about the pervasive lying in our society…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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40 Responses to 1.1% “Growth” isn’t…

  1. Larry Ledwick says:

    Then you also need to dial in population growth, as the population grows the GDP needs to increase in step just to maintain median wage and wealth of the average consumer. If our annual population growth rate is about 0.8% ( http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.GROW ) then you have to subtract that growth from the numbers just to get population corrected real growth.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry:

    Yeah, welcome to the world of Economics Statistical Analysis… “per capita” is the right way to do it, but just finding out the real ‘capitas’ is not easy. Just how many illegal immigrants are there, and how do you know?…

    BTW, watching the news crawler they clarified that the 1.1% “growth” as “annualized”, so I’ve had to go back and correct the posting above. That makes things far worse, BTW, since now even a 4.x% shadow annual inflation eats that 1.1% “growth” for lunch and has 3% left over…

    Yet the talking heads on financial news programs continue to talk about the “growth” and it being “weak” when the reality is at very best stagnation and much more likely a shrinking economy at about 6% / year.

    But as you point out, whatever it is, take out an added 0.8% and try again…

    1.1 – 0.8 = 0.3 % Y/Y per capita… NOW subtract the 4% to 8% for real inflation AND the 8% for Federal Bloat Growth…

  3. Bulaman says:

    Jeff Id at air vent has some interesting takes on how the real (private) economy is not quite as confident as BO would like everyone to think!

  4. philjourdan says:

    On a different tangent, “budget” is a misnomer in itself. There has not been a budget in a long time. Just CRs. But that does not really matter to your calculations.

  5. Gail Combs says:

    This is the shadow stat graph:

    Looks like as soon as China entered the WTO the US economy went belly-up.

    A couple other facts.
    The USA is losing FIFTEEN FACTORIES A DAY!

    No I did not make that up.

    …Rep. Betty Sutton of Ohio recently stated: “Every day in the United States, we are losing 15 factories.” The paper’s PolitiFact editor checked out the numbers with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. While the rate varied from year to year, over the 10 year period from 2001 to 2010, the United States lost 56,190 manufacturing facilities, or a daily average of 15 plants. Sutton is correct, and it’s a national tragedy….
    (wwwDOTindustryweek.com/blog/losing-15-factories-day)

    And then there is what is the GDP? Seems it includes the salaries of all those BureauRats that EAT wealth, stiffle wealth and do not manufacture wealth.

    You might make a case, just barely, that burger flippers and sales clerks add to the economic wealth but it is mining, forestry, agriculture, manufacturing and the transportation system that facilitates trade that really counts in building the wealth of a country.

    All of that has been hollowed out and now the USA exports inflation and TRASH!

    The Latest American Export: Inflation

    2012 Garbage Is Now America’s Biggest Export and now China no longer wants to buy it.
    (wwwDOT)washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/05/09/chinas-crackdown-on-trash-could-make-it-harder-for-u-s-cities-to-recycle/

  6. PaulID says:

    Man you need to submit this to Mises.org you and they have lots in common.

  7. John Robertson says:

    Good post, naturally we should not be surprised that a systemic Kleptocracy produces nothing but lies.
    Government by thieves for the benefit of those thieves does not last very long after their host recognizes them.
    The grinding obstruction,theft and wilful destruction that our “civil servants” now excel in is helping ever more of the marks,AKA taxpayers recognize their government.

  8. John F. Hultquist says:

    After seeing another article on the quest for $15 minimum wage, I wondered about the minimum wage when, still in high school, I started working in a small pizza shop. The fare was a 4″ x 4″ piece of pizza (with or without pepperoni) and cost 15 cents. I started at $1/hr. and a a few months later (after proving I would show up and do the work), I got $1.25/hr.

    This site: http://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/inflation.php?amount=1&year=1960
    claims that $1 in 1960 had the same buying power as $8.05 in 2016.

    In this light, the $15/ hour request seems excessive unless the true rate of inflation is double the claimed rates. I suspect it is. But I don’t know.

  9. Gail Combs says:

    John F. Hultquist, you are missing the most important point. The American worker is now competing with international workers and illegals paid under the table.

    As of 1 May 2013, the highest monthly minimum wage in China is 1,600 yuan ($265.64 US Dollar). The lowest minimum wage was .1,010 yuan ( $165.62US Dollar ). US minimum wage is ~$1250/month @ $7.25/hr. That is what American workers are competing against.

    http://www.clb.org.hk/en/content/wages-china

    It is ~20% more now then when I figured it in 2013.
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/china/minimum-wages

    This is why the Trans-Pacific Partnership is such a Trojan Horse. Hike the minimum wage in the USA by DOUBLE and you will be flooded by foreign labor doing high tech, high paid jobs FOR that minimum wage.
    Trans-Pacific Partnership Synopsis FROM THE US GOVERNMENT (I read Obummercare bill and I read the Food Safety Modernization bill but I could not stomach reading the 5,544-pages of this treaty.)

    ..Platform for regional integration. The TPP is intended as a platform for regional economic integration and designed to include additional economies across the Asia-Pacific region.… [WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL]

    CROSS-BORDER TRADE IN SERVICES
    Given the growing importance of services trade to TPP Parties, the 12 countries share an interest in liberalized trade in this area….market access, which provides that no TPP country may impose quantitative restrictions on the supply of services (e.g., a limit on the number of suppliers or number of transactions) ….TPP Parties accept these obligations on a “negative-list basis,” meaning that their markets are fully open to services suppliers from TPP countries….TPP Parties agree to permit free transfer of funds related to the cross-border supply of a service. In addition, the chapter includes a professional services annex encouraging cooperative work on licensing recognition and other regulatory issues, and an annex on express delivery services.

    TEMPORARY ENTRY FOR BUSINESS PERSONS
    The Temporary Entry for Business Persons chapter encourages authorities of TPP Parties to provide information on applications for temporary entry, to ensure that application fees are reasonable, and to make decisions on applications and inform applicants of decisions as quickly as possible. TPP Parties agree to ensure that information on requirements for temporary entry are readily available to the public, including by publishing information promptly and online if possible, and providing explanatory materials. The Parties agree to ongoing cooperation on temporary entry issues such as visa processing. Almost all TPP Parties have made commitments on access for each other’s business persons, which are in country-specific annexes.

    Lets let China make our Army equipment and North Korea our government Computers!

    GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT
    TPP Parties share an interest in accessing each other’s large government procurement markets through transparent, predictable, and non-discriminatory rules….

    And what about our government services like the Post Office, drivers license bureau… Can’t leave those out.

    …In addition to updating traditional approaches to issues covered by previous free trade agreements (FTAs), the TPP incorporates new and emerging trade issues and cross-cutting issues. These include issues related to the Internet and the digital economy, the participation of state-owned enterprises in international trade and investment…

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    That is what happened at IBM they had workers earning in the mid $80,000 to low $100,000 a year train off shore workers to handle their job and then fired them when the training cycle was complete. Those well paid US IT workers were replaced by 2-3 workers in India, Brazil, Singapore, Vietnam, etc. who were being paid about $5000 a year. Productivity dropped by a factor of 4 or so but the off shore workers were so cheap it still netted out as a profitable move (until you figured in the penalties they paid for exceeding contract guaranteed down time minimums in their service level agreements which were in the several hundred thousand dollar penalty payment range per outage).

    But like all ponzi schemes you eventually run out of well qualified US workers to replace and which recover for the mistakes of the poorly qualified off shore workers, and then you have to live on the actual productivity of your work force and that sucked and they could no longer inflate earnings and share prices by using these manufactured profits generated by gutting their work force of their best employees for short term financial gain. Then the chickens come home to roost and you have to pay the piper.

  11. Another Ian says:

    E.M.

    I sent this to an economist friend. Here’s part of the response

    “GDP seems to be measured differently by different countries . It is only an estimate of economic activity
    India even measures the value of dung ( maybe Aussie should do it for Canberra? and negative !) as it is an important economic activity ”

    A way to inflate the worth of Washington DC?

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    I’ve taken flak from folks for asking “Which GDP?” during ‘discussions’…. some folks think there’s only one when the reality is more like dozens… by nation, with or without govt spending ( national, local, all), inflation adjusted (who’s index for inflation), and more…

    The “single” official USA ( with government, inflation adjusted ) GDP number alone has 3 variations over time as they fudged the formula for inflation.

    BTW, traditionally India used dung for fuel, so it is treated like wood or oil as a product…

    Also note that things like on farm manuer spreading is NOT in GDP, but sell poo from your feed lot to the farm next door as fertilizer for raising cattle feed and it IS part of GDP.

    The problems and limitation of GDP as a meaningful statistic are many and varied…

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry:

    One of my stints at the house of mouse was when they outsourced to IBM who out sourced to India… While it was nominally IBM and USA in the news, the reality was a lot of Indian accents on the phone and email with Indian names in a time zone about half a world away… So my idea of getting hired as an employee evaporated as the employees were being let go…

    The idea we need more H1b visa folks because Americans are not available is a flat out lie. I’m available, as were several hundred (thousands?) of other laid off folks… thus a higher Trump vote…

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    @John H:

    IIRC about mid 1960s the minimum wage was raised to 35 ¢ per hour. My personal inflation metric has the $ now about a nickle to a dime then, depending on exact dates and items used. So minimum wage now ought to be about $3.50 to $7 … and it is right about $7.

    I was working in the folks restaurant when the rise happened, so that make it between 1961 to 1964 or so. Bread was a dime a loaf, gas was 15cents to a quarter a gallon US depending on gas wars, the movie was a quarter and a steak dinner in the restaurant was $1.85. One first class stamp went up from 3 cents to a nickle in there somewhere. All those about 10x higher to 20x now.

  15. Gail Combs says:

    “…The idea we need more H1b visa folks because Americans are not available is a flat out lie. I’m available, as were several hundred (thousands?) of other laid off folks… thus a higher Trump vote…”

    You can add in me and my husband and a lot of hubby’s classmates. As you said. ‘Thus a higher Trump vote’ By now practically everyone has a friend or family worker or co-worker who saw their job go to a non-American often with the insult of having to TRAIN their replacement. All the while Congress and Ted Cruz and Fox News (Murdoch) are telling these unemployed people there are no Americans to fill the job they just got booted out of!

    Rasmussen Reports

    June 16, 2014

    The economy continues to be the top issue on voters’ minds, but government spending has now worked its way into the top three on the list of 15 major issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports.

    Seventy-two percent (72%) of Likely U.S. Voters say the economy is Very Important in terms of how they will vote in the next congressional election….

    I doubt that things have changed much. Remember that for the first time in eight years, Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate after the 2014 election.

    The progressives are very vocal and nasty about pushing their agenda. That does not mean everyone who is silent agrees.

  16. Larry Ledwick says:

    Don’t forget the “Vengeance vote” of the Bernie supporters. There has to be a segment of that group which will vote for Trump just out of spite, to burn HRC and the Democratic party establishment.

  17. Gail Combs says:

    #NeverHillary!

    A look from the right
    Why ‘Never Hillary’ trumps ‘Never Trump’

    A look from the left
    Don’t blame Bernie’s #NeverHillary voters if Trump beats Clinton Someone in comments mentioned Bernie voters are 43% of the DemonRats.

    If 1/2 of them vote Jill Stein (marxist) or Trump or Johnson (Socialist) Then Trump wins.

    This election is not following the ‘rules’ and that is why the polls are useless. — Of course the media polls are agenda/push polls used to herd the Sheeple and steal the election, not real polls.

    I can not see Clinton doing much better than 25% if that. As you can see in the Market Watch comments, the hard core socialists see Hitlery as a Corporatist/Bankster ‘Hoe’ and she has way too much baggage for the middle line democrat. The union workers see her as selling them out to the internationalists.

    Trump is disliked and distrusted but not hated the way Hitlery is.

  18. Gail Combs says:

    This comment from Market Watch points out another glaring advantage for Trump.

    I think voters should not be blackmailed like this to vote for someone they hate or don’t believe in. True democracy is about positive change, not selecting the lesser of 2 evils. If Trump now wins through disaffected Bernie voters, it is entirely the fault of the Democrat party. They rigged the campaign, promoting their weakest, most corrupt and unpopular candidate. Now, they have to accept their actions could mean they lose the election.

    The DNC knew full well they could defeat trump easily by supporting Bernie. They (and their corporate sponsors) chose not to. I personally think having a wakeup call with Trump winning, could be the boost Bernie needs to clean out the party, put the Hillary gang into retirement and put the revolution into high gear. Sometimes we need to take a step back before we can move forward.

    Bernie supporters just don’t see a Trump win as a catastrophe and think his winning is a good way to ‘punish’ the DNC. There is no real urgency to them.

    Most of the Conservative/Independent camp who are awake see this election as the last chance to save this country. Four years of borders wide open to La Raza and Muslim Terrorists plus TPP and we will not HAVE a country left to save at all. Eight years of Obummer has shown us that.

  19. gallopingcamel says:

    Economics is not my thing but am so happy that I had the time to read this post. One of the links contained this gem:

    ” In Government, Stupid can, and does, run rampant for generations. Just look at Common Core as the most recent clear example. It is a lousy way to teach. (Spouse and I both have teaching credentials and have run classrooms, we know this business). Prior to Common Core and the Federal Department of Education, schools were run locally, and generally well. I got a great education then. Now? It’s horrid. And nearly nothing can stop it as it gets worse. Despite some Presidential Candidates saying they will kill off the Fed Dept of Education, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

    The federal government imposed Common Core and dictated the management of toilets in our schools. Sucking up power to Washington is unconstitutional……………much worse it demoralizes parents, teachers and principals alike. Getting rid of the Department of Education is not enough. We need to put every school in the nation under the control of a locally elected board. We need to implement the reforms that New Zealand made in 1988. Less than 20 years later New Zealand schools outperform all English speaking nations.

    I believe that Donald Trump will fire the US Department of Education and will return its funding to the states in the form of “Block Grants”. Newt Gingrich knows how to do that.

  20. gallopingcamel says:

    Here in Brevard county, Florida we have a huge school system with 100 schools run by a bureaucracy that is worse than useless. What I mean by that is that the schools would perform better if the superintendent and all his staff were magically vaporized.

    We also have a salaried “Board of Education” that oversees this bureaucratic nightmare. Our schools would improve if the board members took an indefinite leave of absence.

    What we need is 100 school boards (one per school) with UNPAID board members. This gets back to the ideas of our founding fathers who saw participating in government as an obligation to the community rather than an opportunity to make money.

    Some of you may think this is “Off Topic” but I contend that restoring local control to our schools will have an immense economic impact. There will be some money saved by eliminating the salaried administrators but much larger savings by ending the harm they do.

    When schools compete for students (as in New Zealand) creativity is rewarded to the benefit of the community as Wendell Berry explained long ago:

    “The child is not educated to return home and be of use to the place and community; he or she is educated to leave home and earn money in a provisional future that has nothing to do with the place or community. The local schools no longer serve the local community; they serve the government’s economy and the economy’s government. Unlike the local community, the government and the economy cannot be served with affection, but only with professional zeal or professional boredom. Professionalism means more interest in salary and less interest in what used to be known as disciplines. And so we arrive at the idea, endlessly reiterated in the news media, that education can be improved by bigger salaries for teachers–which may be true, but not, as the proponents too often imply, by bigger salaries alone. There must also be a love of learning and of the cultural tradition and of excellence. And this love cannot exist, because it makes no sense, apart from the love of a place and community. Without this love, education is only the importation into a local community of centrally prescribed “career preparation” designed to facilitate the export of young careerists.”……………..”The Work of Local Culture” by Wendell Berry

  21. gallopingcamel says:

    @Larry Ledwick,
    “Then the chickens come home to roost and you have to pay the piper.”

    I love mixed metaphors!

  22. Another Ian says:

    GC

    Mixed or cumulative in that example?

  23. Aron says:

    There is a lot of interesting information being shared here. I think that I diverge from most though in thinking there is a political solution within the current framework. Trump has some good ideas and I’m reading some good ones here too, but I don’t think Trump has any magical powers that are capable of fending off the larger forces that truly run the world. He’s but one guy. Sure, he might make some small gains, but there will be even larger losses beyond his control. I think the solution must first be initiated outside of the political realm before any positive political change can be made. I could be wrong but on the otherhand I have not seen any evidence to the contrary. I believe the solution rests inside each and everyone of us. What would truly bring about positive lasting change — the only thing that comes to mind is the “truth”. If we “all” had the knowledge of truth then the controllers spin on reality and their control over the people’s minds would evaporate. The truth would then become the consensus thought which would set in motion a much better path forward, most certainly a path with limited government, and certainly one without trade deals that look and smell like the TPP!. Logic and creativity would follow truth down a path to abundance for all that wanted it and worked for it. However, right now the controllers are smarter than most of “the people” and knowledge is power so they hold the upper hand. The people need to gain that knowledge. Keep spreading the truth. Cheers.

  24. Gail Combs says:

    GCamel “…Some of you may think this is “Off Topic” but I contend that restoring local control to our schools will have an immense economic impact….” Our young are our economic future. J.D. Rockefeller and John Dewey knew this and it is why they set-up an experimental school at the University of Chicago to figure out how to turn individualists into good little socialists. The ability to read and therefore to think for yourself was the key Dewey found and since then our schools have gone to hades. Dumbing Down America

    Trump is directly attacking this by saying he wants parents top be able to choose which school to place their child in. This immediately starts competition between schools.

  25. Gail Combs says:

    Aron says: “…Trump has some good ideas and I’m reading some good ones here too, but I don’t think Trump has any magical powers that are capable of fending off the larger forces that truly run the world….”

    Trump knows this and it is why he says this is a movement and he is our voice. Trump Supporters also know this and realize that we fell down on the job and it is up to us to hold our elected officials to account. The movement is already there, It is called the Tea Party however it was subverted. This is also understood. People are waking up and realizing they HAVE TO take back their government. This can be done at the state level by getting off your butt and DOING SOMETHING. Get involved with the state party push for bills that allow the recall of legislators on the state and federal level.

    We do not need term limits, we need to be able to FIRE crooked politicians!

  26. Graeme No.3 says:

    Your problem with growth would be highlighted if the GDP was calculated (roughly) as private sector + Government capital expenditure + Government provision of some services. The idea that employing more and more bureaucrats adds to economic growth is nonsense; they are a barrier to progress if anything. In England today the newspapers are reporting that senior bureaucrats are attempting to reverse the Brexit vote. An obvious leak to pressure them into complying with the wishes of democracy.
    It is well documented that a low level of government control boosts the economy, from Ehrhard in Germany after WW2 to the Asian tigers, and conversely once the bureaucrats are entrenched then growth wi Lleyton be limited. Big companies don’t object as they are inside the cosy club and run their own bureaucracy.
    Years ago I worked in an undeveloped country where the workforce was poorly paid and there was no incentive for reducing the numbers with capital expenditure. The result was indeed a work force 4 times that of a similar factory in Australia and the ‘task’ took twice as long. This despite some rather good local personnel. No doubt the bean counters twisted it to show the overseas plant was lower cost, but that was the first one to go when money became scarce.
    As for financial engineering I ‘retired’ early (offered redundancy which grabbed as I could see what lay ahead). From a profitable company employing 180 it steadily declined in numbers over 10 years to about 12, and last year the site was closed and no-one works there (or at a related company), at least 300 jobs gone and surprise! Sales keep dropping. Yes, the parent is American.
    If that is super management with huge bonesses then good luck with the Trump revolution.

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    @GC:

    As education is a big government expense (for no effective reason…) it is certainly on topic.

    BTW, remember to read your communist manifesto… it lists central government control of education as one of the commandments. That explains a lot, and why it will be very hard to kill central control… the socialists don’t let go of a commandment. Ever.

    @Aron:

    Part of that truth is to look closely at the opposing forces. Read their manifesto. Attend their meetings. Watch their methods. Then you can begin to unroll what they have rolled up…

    @Gail:

    Note that you example of powerful folks taking over education comes straight out of the progressive socialust era and what ammounts to communism lite… thus the taproot is the manifesto. Never forget that. It is the foundational document.

  28. Gail Combs says:

    John Dewey was a founding member of the American Fabian Society and George S. Count’s KGB handler was Anna Osipovna transformed into Nucia Lodge, his research assistant.

  29. Gail Combs says:

    Congressman McFadden point blank states in his Congressional speech

    … “These twelve private credit monopolies were deceitfully and disloyally
    foisted upon this Country by the bankers who came here from Europe and
    repaid us our hospitality by undermining our American institutions. Those
    bankers took money out of this Country to finance Japan in a war against
    Russia. They created a reign of terror in Russia with our money in order to
    help that war along. They instigated the separate peace between Germany and
    Russia, and thus drove a wedge between the allies in World War. They
    financed Trotsky’s passage from New York to Russia so that he might assist
    in the destruction of the Russian Empire. They fomented and instigated the
    Russian Revolution, and placed a large fund of American dollars at Trotsky’s
    disposal in one of their branch banks in Sweden so that through him Russian
    homes might be thoroughly broken up and Russian children flung far and wide
    from their natural protectors. They have since begun breaking up of American
    homes and the dispersal of American children. “Mr. Chairman, there should be
    no partisanship in matters concerning banking and currency affairs in this
    Country, and I do not speak with any….
    http://www.apfn.net/Doc-100_bankruptcy28.htm

    As far as I can tell Marxism is a giant Hoax with the aim to return the common man to serfdom. If you shift your focus you can see the history of the USA is a history of the European countries trying to get back control. My LONG comment on the Karl Marx

  30. gallopingcamel says:

    Aron,
    You point out that Trump is “just one man”. So what can one man do?

    There have been no perfect men for 2,000 years but some imperfect men and women have made a huge difference by governing “for the people” rather than for the plutocrats (aka the “Donor Class”).

    In recent times Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher come to mind.

    Suddenly I have this crazy idea that Donald Trump will be the second coming of Ronald Reagan and Teresa May will be the reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher.

    Complete BS you say, yet I am sure that with Trump as president the UK/USA bond will recover from the damage done by Obama who returned the Churchill bust. The #2 person in the UK government is Boris Johnson and he understands what motivates Obama to spurn friends of the USA (e.g. the UK and Israel) while embracing hostile dictatorships (e.g. Iran and Cuba).
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-suggests-part-kenyan-obama-may-have-an-ancestral-dislike-of-britain-a6995826.html

    I suspect Boris will enjoy working with Trump. They both have a terrific sense of humor and they will work to eliminate much of the “Stupid Government” that afflicts our two nations.

    Let’s hope the USA and the UK will work together to create an Anglo-American tiger that will eat the Eurozone lunch.

  31. gallopingcamel says:

    Gail Combs,
    I love Blumenfeld. When I retired from the Duke University Free Electron Laser Laboratory in 2002 I took a job as reading coach at the Carter Community School in Durham, North Carolina.

    Using SBRR (Science Based Reading Research) we were able to teach children to read in 12 weeks while traditional K-12 schools failed to do this after several years. It is not rocket science…….you just need to abandon what does not work well for most students. Here are a couple of links that explain:
    http://morcombe.net/Senate/FREEfoundation/freefoundreading.html
    http://www.gallopingcamel.info/carter.html

  32. Larry Geiger says:

    No kindergarten. Beginning from the second day of first grade we stood up every day and read. Every day. Dick and Jane. At the beginning it might be a two word sentence (“See Spot”) or even one word. By third or fourth grade it was whole paragraphs. Every day for four or five years. Everyone I knew could read. No one couldn’t read.

  33. Larry Ledwick says:

    The summer between my kindergarten year and first grade, my mom made me sit in the living room and read aloud to her for one hour from the book “Wild Geese Flying”. She would sit patiently beside me and listen and after giving me a chance to sound out words I was not sure of she would correct my pronunciation and if I was in doubt explain what the word meant. I think I still have it somewhere in my book shelves. I do still have a copy of “Friends and Neighbors” and “Danny Dunn and anti-gravity paint” I eventually read most if not all of the Danny Dunn series and in about 5th grade I got a subscription to Boy’s Life, and when I turned 11 I got a huge one volume encyclopedia. Many of my questions in that time period were answered with “look it up!”. Later I got a subscription to Popular Science and Mechanix Illustrated which I would read cover to cover when they arrived.

    https://www.amazon.com/Wild-geese-flying-Cornelia-Meigs/dp/B0006OUT1U/ref=sr_1_1

    The key to reading is to make it “okay to read” and give the child their own reading material.

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    Don’t know how we wandered into learning to read personal stories, but here’s mine.

    Mum would regularly read to me from some favorite books. At about kindergarden age, I recited one by rote, pointing at each word at the right time… yet it was some many months later early in first grade that struggling with the word “the” and trying to “sound it out” that the penny dropped on the collection of letters making both a collective sound and a meaning. What we would now call a phonetic and phonemic encoding.

    “The” went from my most hated to favorite word. Th my favorite letter set, as it meant tongue on teeth and vocalize…

    From that moment forward I soaked up words at an horiffic rate. The sound and feel of them, the letters encoding sound and meanings (often different…). Realizing it mostly coded for a meaning (like ‘the’ marks particular objects) but sometimes coded a sound. That English was spelled phonemically, not phonetically, in most cases (but only getting those words for it 15 years later…).

    Reading some words by global shape (as that first rote book), some by sound of the letters, others by the phoneme they embodied like ‘the’ and ‘knight’.

  35. Gail Combs says:

    I got stuck in the ‘See and Say’ experiment (John Dewey) but the socialists were not counting on my Neanderthal hard wired visual genes. I can read at 1500 words/minute plus and was reading high school history books hidden behind my regular textbooks in fourth grade.

    Just do not ask me to read out loud because I go from written words to concept and skip the sound. (Can’t spell worth crap either.)

    I am of the opinion that the cultural bias against school seen in inner cities was not by chance but by design just like Welfare Mother aka LBJ’s Great Society was intentionally done to destroy black families and turn them into generation after generation of democrat voters living off the government teat. The Democrats don’t care because the middle class pays for it. Worse the middle class now has to have a 2 salary family to survive meaning they have no time to interfere in the destruction of the USA.

  36. cdquarles says:

    Gail, I don’t know how close in age we are, but my grandparents read to us (my sister and I) then gave us Dick and Jane and Dr. Seuss. I knew how to read before kindergarten (that’s where I was when President Kennedy was killed) where reading was taught by see-say and phonics. Sound it out then look at the book then sound it out again alound, in class. I paid for it by needing corrective lenses by age 6. There was very little TV viewing in the household and we could only get ABC, NBC and APT because they were VHF, whereas CBS was UHF and we couldn’t get line-of-sight for our antenna, even on a 20 ft. pole. Maybe if we’d put the pole on the roof, but that’d have been silly and dangerous.

    Oh, that reminds me, I’ve seen a McGuffey’s Reader from back then, and they’re still around. [We also had old-fashioned penmanship taught to us, first block printing then cursive handwriting. My penmanship wasn’t A+, but my spelling skills were. I won a few local spelling bees, and remember, this was still during Jim Crow, though at its end. Jim Crow wasn’t just a Southern thing, is was a Progressive thing and I agree that Johnson and his Democrats wanted to destroy self-reliant Americans and not just the black ones ]

    There is something to be said for see one, do one, teach one, if you really want to learn and understand something.

  37. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry:

    Yup. I’d say that’s about right. “Asset” prices are bubblicious right now, and markets look toppy. The global context is zero growth and zero interest rates, and The Fed is contemplating a rate hike, but can’t quite see how to do it without crashing their Liquidity Trap.

    We’ve got $20 Trillion of nominal debt (FED ONLY) and somewhere around $200 TRILLION of unfunded liabilities; and that is the USA FED ONLY.

    So the question is just how much longer assets can be kept inflated with ever more zeros before someone notices that they can’t pay for their: Rent, Food, Insurance, Taxes, etc. etc. etc.

    It is asking what is the value of 0 x 0? Currency with zero real value multiplied by zero interest rates… The answer is nothing… So take debt at zero cost and politicians will push it to infinity, which is where debt is headed, followed closely by inflation once that is realized. So what is the value of infinity x 0 ? Good luck with that one…

    This kind of math is showing up throughout the bond market, and reflecting in stock asset valuations. What is the net present value of future dividend income when interest rates are negative? AND the future $ is of unknown and unknowable real value?

    Damn Strait Central Bankers are pissing in their boots.

    As I’ve said many times before:

    BAD Fiscal Policy can not be fixed by Monetary Policy.

    At this point the Central Bankers are getting that sinking feeling that they have had way too much bad Fiscal Policy for too many decades, can’t fix it with Monetary Policy anyway, and have got their collective asses stuck in a Global Liquidity Trap causing most all of their “instruments” to break too. Like the Laws Of Thermodynamics, they are learning #2 and #3:

    You can’t win.
    You can’t break even.
    You can’t quit the game.

    Can’t lower rates to get growth.
    Can’t earn interest at ZIRP.
    Can’t raise rates to quit the game.

  38. Larry Ledwick says:

    A lot of people have that same feeling, much like when you realize the brake peddle just went to the floor and you are headed for a tree and no longer have any control over the outcome.

  39. philjourdan says:

    @E.M.

    BAD Fiscal Policy can not be fixed by Monetary Policy.

    I made that statement 8 years ago. But I also know that it takes time for the rot to show and fell the beast.

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