|A New Hospital On Every Corner A Sign Of Fraud|
On a daily bases, a series of what would have at one time been considered outlandish ideas, such as a war on cash, forgiving debt through a debt jubilee, giving everyone a guaranteed income, and even injecting money into the economic system by dropping it from a helicopter have all found their way into conversations. Such talk generally reserved for times of economic woe and considered as ways to jump-start an economy would not be so up front and center if real concern that at any time a rapid decline in the economy might take place.
|Closings Are Having A Huge Economic Impact|
All this confirms that planners, with little skin in the game, love to overspend the money of others. The truth is, this extends well past healthcare and into housing, the auto sector, Wall Street, and most sectors of our economy. Over the years we have witnessed those in control of the purse strings rotating through the various sectors of our economy. Generally, their dabbling results in doing far more harm than good. for instance, in higher education, we have seen costs soar resulting in a student debt crisis that is crushing the ability of many young people to move forward with their lives. The poison leaking through our economy can also be seen in auto sales where roughly a third of those buying cars are taking out sub-prime loans stretched out far longer than ever before.
While government spending has proven able to stimulate the economy and supplement growth, history shows that over the long run government spending is a poor substitute for the free market in allocating capital to where it is most effective. A large part our perception of a booming economy flows from the low unemployment rate issued by the Bureau of Labor statistics which is based on employees "who did any work for pay or profit" during the week being surveyed, this includes part-time workers who are employed for just one hour a week and those working for low wages. It is important to remember these statistics do not include the large number of Americans who have given up looking or simply chosen not to work in recent years.
|Stock Buybacks Drive Markets Higher (click to enlarge)|
Proof of just how much this economy relies on the continued flow of cheap money was highlighted when the stock market started to wobble two months ago and President Trump ratcheted up his attacks on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for"ruining the party. Trump constantly points to the soaring stock market and its oversized influence as a confidence builder as confirmation of his skill in growing the economy and leading us forward. In truth, a flawed tax reform package that benefited the rich by fostering massive stock buybacks coupled with massive deficit spending has allowed the false illusion of prosperity to continue far longer than usual.
This does not mean the bull market which is long in the truth will not die a sudden death. The speed at which companies such as GM and GE have suddenly pulled back should act as a warning and a reminder of how rapidly "Now Hiring" signs can be pulled from a window. Recent economic numbers show signs that economic stagnation is on the rise and we may be hitting a wall. At some point, the lift from credit expansion based on low-interest rates that has brought future consumption forward and increased speculation will have run its course. When that happens even massive government spending will become ineffective at creating economic momentum.
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