May 1: Daily Contrarian Reads

Q1 GDP Report—Don’t Call It “Growth”

That expectation, however, was based on the economy that “should be” rather than the one that existed and still exists. In fact, that has been a good part of the problem all along; the mainstream constantly refers to the conditions as they “should be” only to have them fail time and time again. After a while, as if seven years weren’t enough, you would think that they would finally see this for what it is – an economy that remains stuck in a very bad state.

Pentagon Threat Inflation And The Phony Hysterics Over North Korea

lot of my job as editorial director of is cutting through the veil of obfuscation with which the War Party masks its ill intentions. But sometimes you don’t even have to read between the lines to see what our conniving rulers are up to. Such is the case with the current war scare around North Korea. President Trump is playing this for all it’s worth, summoning the Senate to a special conclave at the White House to inform them of the supposedly dire threat. This ostentatious display was preceded by a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee at which Admiral Harry Harris, in charge of the US Pacific Command, sounded the alarm…….The idea that the North Korean despot is going to pull off another Pearl Harbor is so off the wall that one has to wonder what the Admiral is smoking.

It Was Q1 “Weather” Again—-This Time It Was Too Warm!

The US economy surprised economists to the downside once again, a terrible habit it has picked up over the past years. GDP adjusted for inflation inched up only 0.7% “compound annual rate of change.” This means that if the economy keeps growing at this rate for four quarters in a row, economic growth for the entire year would only be 0.7%.By comparison, in 2016, economic growth was 1.6%, matching 2011 for the worst rate since the Financial Crisis. So 0.7% is ugly. It was the weakest growth since Q1 2014.

Better Late Than Never—-The New York Times Discovers The Nation’s Monumental Debt Problem

Then on Wednesday, Mr. Trump unveiled the outlines of his much-anticipated tax overhaul, calling for steep tax cuts with only modest offsetting revenue increases. Economists I spoke to this week estimate it would add trillions to the national debt over the next decade. “We’ve only done the rough numbers, but this looks like a tax cut of a magnitude of about $5 trillion,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan advocacy organization for fiscal responsibility. “That is simply unimaginable given our fiscal situation and the size of the deficit, which is already the worst since World War II.”

The Real Drug Epidemic—–The National Blues

Live in a corner of Flyover Red America where you can easily read these conditions on the landscape — the vacant Main Streets, especially after dark, the houses uncared for and decrepitating year by year, the derelict farms with barns falling down, harvesters rusting in the rain, and pastures overgrown with sumacs, the parasitical national chain stories like tumors at the edge of every town. You can read it in the bodies of the people in the new town square, i.e. the supermarket: people prematurely old, fattened and sickened by bad food made to look and taste irresistible to con those sunk in despair, a deadly consolation for lives otherwise filled by empty hours, trash television, addictive computer games, and their own family melodramas concocted to give some narrative meaning to lives otherwise bereft of event or effort.

Unicorns That Bleed—–Cloudera IPO Hit For  50% Discount From Last Venture Round

As the FT notes, the share sale marked a new low for so-called unicorns, or private tech companies once valued at more than $1bn. Companies such as Cloudera have turned to Wall Street as the once red-hot private investment market has cooled, forcing some to take big discounts on their former valuations to raise more money. Among the biggest losers in the Cloudera IPO, if only on paper, will be Intel, which sank $742m into the big data company in 2014. At the time, that investment set a record $4.1 billion valuation for Cloudera, pushing it into the top 30 ranking of most valuable global “unicorns” according to the WSJ. Fast forward to late on Thursday, when the company announced a price of $15 for shares in its IPO. While above the indicated range of $12-$14, it was less than half the $30.95 it sold its shares for in 2014.

Donald Trump: The ‘Manchurian (Neoconservative) Candidate’?

He took barely three months to reveal the truth. Donald Trump is the true Manchurian Candidate, only a tool of Neoconservatives rather than Communists. A new movie is sure to come and undoubtedly will be a smash, the biggest ever with the most Academy Awards ever, at least if President Trump has his way…..It’s looking more likely that he was a Neoconservative plant instead. The Neocons, whose objective is a war on every continent, multiple permanent military commitments persisting until the end of time, and massive armed services ready to bomb, invade, and occupy every square foot of the earth, realized that they were chiefs without Indians. Most Americans were more interested in defending the U.S. than the rest of the globe. Average folks didn’t see much reason to bankrupt the nation attempting to remake other societies, irrespective of history, religion, ethnicity, geography, and culture. People didn’t like having their relatives in uniform treated as gambit pawns in a global chess game by Washington’s ivory tower warriors.

Specious Mainstream Media Narratives For War With Russia

As of now, there is still no actual evidence for several of these allegations. For example, that Putin directed a cyber-hacking operation that abetted Trump’s presidential campaign or that he is doing the same on behalf of favored European candidates today. Or that Assad was behind the recent chemical-weapons episode in Syria. Or that Moscow has aggressive military intentions in Eastern Europe. Moreover, to the extent the Kremlin uses propaganda, or “soft power,” on behalf of American and European candidates, this is scarcely different from decades of US meddling in elections around the world, including in Russia. In any event, the effect of “Russian propaganda” is wildly exaggerated, assuming as it does that democratic citizens are easily swayed by such “weaponized information,” as though they are highly susceptible zombies. (The allegation itself reveals a kind of contempt for the political intelligence of citizens of American and other Western democracies.)

Trump’s Tax Plan Would Bankrupt the Empire

Because U.S. debt is already expected to grow to $30 trillion by 2027. Add another $6 trillion, and you’re talking real money. And that is before any of the dopey spending increases the Trump team proposes. Our friend David Stockman served as President Reagan’s budget chief. He has analyzed these figures in great detail (yet somehow manages to keep his wits about him). And he believes the combined effect of Trump’s tax and spending plans, revealed by day 97 of his administration, would add $20 trillion to the U.S. debt. President Obama, he points out, doubled U.S. debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion. Trump seems to be angling to do it again.

J.B. Say—-Proto-Austrian

Say’s most notable contribution to economics, “Say’s law,” is often stated as “products are paid for with products.” This is the essence of exchange where one actor barters his products for another’s (often through a medium of exchange). There is no way for consumption to occur without first producing or acquiring a desired good. Therefore, production necessarily precedes consumption, or in other words, supply enables demand. Genuine demand only arises from the supply of products. All demand is backed by prior production.