Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Advancing Time: Retail Sector Is The "Soft Underbelly" Of The Economy

Advancing Time: Retail Sector Is The "Soft Underbelly" Of The Economy: Prepare for Retail Apocalypse Part II. While this could be considered a continuation of a trend that started years ago the number of closur...

Retail Sector Is The "Soft Underbelly" Of The Economy

Prepare for Retail Apocalypse Part II. While this could be considered a continuation of a trend that started years ago the number of closures about to occur will take things to a whole new level. "Soft underbelly" is a phrase that refers to the most vulnerable part of something, whether it be an organization, a system, or a physical object. This phrase was famously used by Winston Churchill to describe his idea of attacking Germany through Italy during World War II. 

Today retailers closing locations across America are about to show retailing is a sector of the economy that has been given far less attention than it merits. Once these locations go empty, many may never again be occupied. This is a continuation of what started prior to the pandemic in response to Amazon and online commerce. The reality of this, for me, comes front and center when I think about the mall across the street from my office losing its last two anchor stores, Macy's and JCPenny. Without them, the mall will be in dire straits.

While the news is focused on Artificial Intelligence, the drums of war, raising the debt ceiling, and speculation on who might run for President in 2024 few people are talking about the coming wave of retail closures. This round of forecloses will be far more devastating than what we saw in the first wave. Analysts estimate that by the end of 2023, the national brick-and-mortar footprint may be reduced by up to 20%. This is due to many retailers leveraging up when interest rates were low. This is exacerbated by the idea a recession is just around the corner.

Where money flows and who it enriches is a key component of economics, the failure to consider this is a blind spot many people have. Already many big box retailers, grocery stores, apparel chains, home goods companies, and big-name businesses like Burger King, GameStop, and Sephora have announced mass store closings in 2023. These companies are rushing to close under-preforming locations in an effort to limit the bleeding on their balance sheets.

Even while they may deny it, consumers are notorious for wasting much of the money they spend on frivolous unnecessary purchases. This means many consumers could cut their spending in a big way without drastically reducing their standard of living. When looking at the policies flowing out of Washington it is clear many politicians seem to have no idea that all consumer spending and purchases are not created equal. The fact is, consumers should take a long look at how their purchases will impact the economy over time.

Empty Buildings Harm Communities
This environment is where the predatory monster known as Amazon comes back to haunt communities. Online purchases in illiquid hard to find specialty items have a lot of merits. It expands our options, however, when used as a way to avoid visiting and buying from local merchants many negative ramifications come home to roost. While touting Amazon as a model of efficiency what people often forget is that its overall business model is far from efficient. Simply put, it is only after many local stores are gone that people will realize the hidden cost of buying online.  

Fans of Keynesian economics that encourage government spending to stabilize the economy during a downturn tend to discount the importance that where and how money is spent matters a great deal. While many readers may already be telling themselves, I don't go or shop there anyway, retail closings will result in lots of other small businesses closing their doors. Not only will the retail employees lose their jobs but these stores support many local businesses. The ugly reality is that store retail store closures have a huge impact on communities. This is a cancer that will soon become apparent as rents fall, mortgages go unpaid, commercial real estate values fall, and the local tax base shrinks away. Defaults on loans and bonds in conjunction with the reduced local property taxes will also add to the pain. 
Two recent videos warn we are likely to surpass the number of closures seen during the pandemic when thousands of businesses collapsed. In the first, Clayton Morris delves into some of the chains shuttering locations. He focuses on 20 big retailers in the process of closing down  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAVWx_T6f6I In the other video is from City Prepping, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlXM8AA9g7I it comes with the warning this will be big. The fella does an excellent job of putting into focus the many issues about to descend upon much of the retailing sector.  
Expect To See Less New construction
To make matters worse, this comes at a time when the boom in new restaurant construction based on easy cheap money is coming to an end. High labor cost, sluggish sales, shoplifting, and higher interest rates are all taking their toll on retailers. These factors have many retailers on their heels.
Adding to the problem is the Fed's high-interest rates have put pressure on small, or should we say most, banks in a position where they are cutting back on loaning out money to marshal their funds. These challenges also extend deep into the small business environment and communities. 
When all is said and done, this is an area that is vulnerable as consumer spending continues to weaken. This is not about having enough places to buy goods. It is about the sustainability of real estate prices, jobs, and the overall financial health of our communities. Considering retailing accounts for roughly 10 million jobs this is significant. When coupled with the current glut of office space it is easy to see that this is a harbinger of things to come. 
(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

AI Fakes Makes It More Important To Question Everything

A recent market blip occurred when an AI-generated photo indicated an attack had taken place. This underlines the potential problems and dangers this new technology presents. How do we know what is real when fake photos have become so easy to generate? Even voices can be easily replicated. Below is a copy of an article that ran on AdvancingTime on April 22, 2018, focused on this subject. It delves into how computer-generated models and images blur reality. It could even be used to make President Biden appear competent.

Computer-Generated Models And Images Blur Reality

Computer-generated models and images have advanced to where they blur reality and diminish the need for humans to act as spokespeople or to represent organizations. Back in 2011 Swedish fashion chain H&M admitted to using computer-generated models to showcase collections on its website. Since that time the ability to create computer-generated images has only gotten better. We have advanced to where it is difficult, no, it would be more accurate to say impossible to always know if what you are seeing is really a person or simply the image of one. Drilling down into this issue forces us to where creativity, marketing, and price-point intersect and that has huge implications for society going forward. This brings front and center the question of what to believe in a world of fake news and false flags where what we create is limited only by our imagination.

Real Or Not? Click here to take the test
The virtual models H&M generated look completely human, but upon inspection, if you look closely, they might all have the same body shape and pose with a real model's head superimposed on the body where the skin tone has been digitally altered to match her complexion. This step where the company has gone past "photoshopping" has created a bit of controversy with H&M drawing criticism for creating a false reality for its customers and creating an unrealistic body image for women to live up to. At the time Swedish website Aftonbladet first noticed the uncanny similarities of the models. Hacan Andersson, a spokesman from H&M, confirmed this by saying:
"It's not a real body, it is completely virtual and made by the computer. We take pictures of the clothes on a doll that stands in the shop, and then create the human appearance with a program on a computer."
Andersson argued the company made the choice to use the images of computer-generated models because it simplified the process of the photo shoot and also that it allowed customers to focus on the clothes rather than the models. He acknowledged, "The result is strange to look at, but the message is clear: buy our clothes, not our models."

The Fact Is Computer-Generated Images Often Appear More Real Than Reality

Computer-generated imagery, more commonly known as CGI, encompasses the tricks and the ability to generate and manipulate images. This creates some interesting possibilities going forward as well as greasing an already slippery slope with endless possibilities. Eventually, this could lead to a form of "Photoshop" on steroids. Anyone familiar with Photoshop knows it delivers the magic that helps people bring their creative vision to life. By editing raw image files and photos by using state-of-the-art photo editing not only can people create compelling high-dynamic-range images (HDRI) that can be used for a variety of purposes but can also mislead viewers as to what is real.

It appears this is just the beginning, by adding distinct characteristics from individuals that society views in a very positive light to a CGI it is not difficult to imagine that we might extend some of that same positive feeling to that image. If this is true then it is not difficult to envision both politicians and others "scrubbing" their voice and persona ever so slightly as to improve the impact they have on advancing their cause. Slowing their speech, deepening the tone of their voice, and shaving off a few unwanted pounds. Manipulating people in this way could be looked at as a form of propaganda but in reality, it is only one step farther than we already go when we do extreme editing of a news clip to sway public opinion.

The future of TV news could be very different in that it could be completely computer-generated. Take for instance, the many imitation sounds engineered into some electronic keyboards today. While an audiophile may be able to tell the difference the average listener can not and most people don't care if it results in a less expensive download for their iPod. Since the same thing can be said about music and even art this can be scary, especially if you are the person suddenly discovering that a robot could take your job. In Vegas, stage shows used to all have live orchestras but now many musicians have a difficult time finding work on the strip. We have also seen the electronic equivalent of human-generated music gain a foothold as a genre and become a market all its own. Voice actors are already feeling the heat as the encroachment of synthetic voices hit the industrial/corporate market and push into audiobooks.

The ability to produce a human-sounding voice with all the inflections, nuances, and timing that makes it interesting often requires as much technical artistry from a software engineer as it does from an experienced voice actor, however, at some point computers will be able to take over and perform this task as routine. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been watching recent trends in technology. A quick search for the words "voiceover" and "computer voice" will bring you rapidly up to speed. Apple has even designed into its iPhone a feature called voiceover which the visually impaired find very valuable, it reads the words on the screen out loud in what Apple calls a "spoken English interface."

Keep in mind much of this is increasingly happening beneath the surface in places we seldom see. The fact is we now have computers that sound more human than humans and on a positive note speak more clearly. It is not difficult imagining such figures saving media networks money by delivering the news. All this takes us to a time in the future when computers have the ability to generate images that deliver dialog and can act with emotion. By mimicking figures of the past or their best qualities and traits, it would be possible to create false figures with compelling personalities. Sadly, the future may be a place where knowing what is real and what is false may become difficult to determine and perceive. This makes this sometimes deceptive and potentially dangerous area of technology ripe for abuse.

Footnote; In life, most people never meet or hear their Senator or President speak in person, this means a "gentle concealed" enhancement could go a long way to make them appear more appealing. It is important to consider that if this technology can be used to enhance the stature of a person it could also be used to diminish their standing or even as a tool for character assassination.

Footnote #2; If you did not hit the "Click here to take the test" line under the image of 25 Years Of Photoshop it is a highly recommended exercise. 


(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Advancing Time: The lowly penny and why it should go!

Advancing Time: The lowly penny and why it should go!: Best Use For Pennies Is A Bathroom Floor? I felt it was time to write something a little off-beat so I decided to write about the lowly ...

Advancing Time: We Are Entering The Age Of "Full John Galt"

Advancing Time: We Are Entering The Age Of "Full John Galt": We are entering the age of "Full John Galt." This is a time where society and politicians are rapidly dismantling the rights of ow...

Advancing Time: Hyperinflation Seldom Occurs But Can With Rapid Speed

Advancing Time: Hyperinflation Seldom Occurs But Can With Rapid Speed:  A Wheelbarrow Of Money Can Be Worth Little Life is full of facts we don't know or have simply forgotten. In a comment, a writer rec...

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Advancing Time: You Are Not Alone, Anger Is Building Across The Wo...

Advancing Time: You Are Not Alone, Anger Is Building Across The Wo...: You are not alone if you are tired of watching your government grow increasingly oppressive and corrupt. Many people across the world share ...

You Are Not Alone, Anger Is Building Across The World!

You are not alone if you are tired of watching your government grow increasingly oppressive and corrupt. Many people across the world share your pain. People continue to voice their anger and discontent, however, this is something the media often chooses not to report for it is owned by those same forces which are attempting to enslave us. Those on the left referred to the right as fascist or Nazi while those on the right refer to the left as communist. 

This tends to overlook the fact that both groups are rooted in wanting to expand control. The truth is that the angst and growing anger many people feel is kept under control by a mass media with a very strong agenda. Mass media has perfected the art of dividing us and at the same time keeping us in the dark. The greatest risk we face may be that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is coming at us fast and furious. Once it is here getting information will become almost impossible. 

As of late, several times a day I find a song from the musical  Les Miserables flowing through my mind. It is named, "The Song Of Angry Men" and screams enough is enough. Of course, in the video, the people seem very happy until the soldiers start killing them. This "killing thing" is of course what happens in totalitarian regimes. Sadly, the world has far too many totalitarian regimes and is moving in the direction of creating more. Yes, they can take away your freedom.

There are simply too many things happening for the bulk of society to stay focused on any one issue. Whether we are talking about corruption in Ukraine and how American money is being diverted or squandered rather than spent on what we see as necessary projects. Sometimes the subject is more one of values or direction such as what to do with something like the Biden crime family and a justice system that is turning a blind eye to their transgressions.

Then we have the just-released report from Special Counsel John Durham. The investigation that took three years concludes the FBI never should have launched the Trump-Russia Probe. By doing so the American Public was scammed by forces inside our government. This was an act that interfered in the 2016 election in an attempt to keep Trump from getting elected. Of course, once he did the same people continued to poison his Presidency.

This dovetails with the piece Tucker Carlson did claiming unseen footage from January 6, 2021, Capitol protest revealed that the entire Democrat / RINO / MSM narrative underpinning the event was a complete lie. Surveillance footage Carlson presented showed Capitol Police calmly escorting the so-called "QAnon Shaman," Jacob Chansley, throughout the Capitol complex, and even helped him find open doors. Carlson said, "They helped him. They acted as his tour guides." This is far different from the narrative flowing from the mass media. Since then Chansley was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for "obstructing an official proceeding."

Spotlighting the injustice is a video titled  “Justice For All"  by the J6 Prison Choir and former President Donald Trump. This powerful and moving song raises awareness and support for the political prisoners still locked in jail without trial following the January 6th protest in 2021. J6 Prison Choir consists of individuals who have been incarcerated as a result of their involvement in the January 6, 2021 protest for election integrity.

As our anger grows we should remember that we are not alone. We are often sheltered by mass media from the many protests taking place across the world. This may be so we don't see how bad things are or possibly so we do not get any ideas.
Few Americans are currently aware of the recent protest in France, Pakistan, Germany, and a slew of other countries.
A big part of the growing anger comes from a lack of accountability, the sins of those in charge seem to shed off their backs like water off a duck's back

Politicians and those in charge tend to avoid accountability as though it was the plague. One example of this is the way we left Afghanistan. It stands as a monument to America's arrogance and incompetence. Sadly, it is just one of many monuments we are in the process of constructing as we throw money into corrupt black holes. It is difficult to think a huge part of this is about spending and transferring wealth to where those in power can skim off a bit here and there.

While it is both obvious and logical that a system or something is going to fail, today we find the issue generally ignored until coming up with a process where people will accept that reality is constructed. It is a real challenge and art to move forward without the support of those being impacted. Generally, this includes convincing them they are better off being thrown a bone than nothing at all. 

This is one way to explain the protest we have seen in France. Widely unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron's effort to push through pension reform without a vote in parliament has resulted in a fierce backlash. To this Macron said “It’s in the greater interest of the country,” He added “Between opinion polls and the national interest, I chose the national interest. Macron's action to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 has resulted in a nationwide strike in France that caused significant disruptions, halting trains, closing ports, emptying schools, canceling flights, and more. 

In this case, whether Macron is right about the current system being unsustainable is not the issue. The issue is how it is being done and the anger it has created. Over a million French people have participated in the protests. Call them protests or spontaneous riots but these have erupted across the country. Macron's plan has had support neither from the left nor the far right but only from Macron’s centrist alliance. This is a reflection of the idea that the people are pawns for the elite to abuse. It is understandable this creates anger which can turn violent.

It could be argued we as a society and other societies across the world have lost our ability to mount a meaningful protest to bring about real change. That we have been gentled into a society of the meek. Neutered and divided have we become incapable of true outrage? At times it seems we are all so weak that nothing can move us to the breaking point and like the proverbial frogs sitting in a pot of water as the temperature continues to rise our future is cast.  

This is the state of affairs as things continue along their merry way. As Americans watch our borders thrown open and the media ignore the labyrinth of LLC shell companies and accounts used to funnel as much as $10 million to Biden family members, many of us stand dumbfounded. The New Republic even ran a story with the headline “Republicans Finally Admit They Have No Incriminating Evidence on Joe Biden." 

The goal here is not to praise Trump but rather to scorn the current sour state of affairs. Countries and those in power continue to crush the rights and freedoms of the individual. Justice and truth are becoming rare commodities. As the lies continue to flow from every direction and never stop, just remember you are not alone.  

(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Advancing Time: How Does A Castrated Society React When Betrayed?

Advancing Time: How Does A Castrated Society React When Betrayed?: How does a castrated society act when betrayed by its government? For an answer need only look to China. There the people bend under the wei...

How Does A Castrated Society React When Betrayed?

How does a castrated society act when betrayed by its government? For an answer need only look to China. There the people bend under the weight of an oppressive government that has used propaganda to destroy free thought. In short, the people moan and then accept the transgression. On May 8, Shenzhen citizens woke up to find a significant reduction in their social security pension balances. Some of these accounts shrunk by as much as a third. Yes, a wave of public outcry ensued but fell far short of the outrage necessary to change anything. 

The controversy grew to where the balance inquiry function of the Shenzhen social security system was promptly suspended but that changes nothing. Shenzhen is not the first city in China to execute a "social security coordination." While you could say they have robbed the people of their money, they say this was done to integrate into Guangdong Province's system, thereby linking to the National Pension Insurance Coordinated Information System for Enterprise Employees. Still, a considerable number of Shenzhen residents were shocked to find that their social security account balances suddenly decreased, with some accounts seeing a drastic 30-40% plunge. 

The China Observer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6aj8o73mCg reports the whereabouts of these diverted funds remain a mystery and at the same time highlights the precarious state of the existing pension and medical insurance funds. It also underscored the severe challenges confronting China. While the government's actions prompted sharp rebuke and some criticism for appropriating funds without prior consent or notification there has been a lack of true outrage.

This is an indication of China's inability to honor the promises it has made to its people. It underscored the severe challenges confronting the nation. To mitigate this crisis, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is reportedly exploring various reform measures. This could be considered doublespeak meaning you can go stand in line to file a complaint that will never be addressed. 

This post is a continued effort to chip away at the notion and false narrative that China is hitting on all cylinders and is about to become the most powerful nation in the world. A post that appeared on AdvancingTime on March 6 of this year titled; China's Pension System Screams Corruption And Failure warned of the problems in China's social safety net. Tomorrow the message will center on the growing anger people across the world are about to unleash toward a governing class that puts its priorities first. Yes, they always get their pensions.

(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

The Economy Is Beginning To Shudder - The Lag Effect

Shudder is an interesting word, in this case, when talking about the economy, it is being used as a verb that means to wobble or shake in not a good way. While the verdict is not yet in, recently there has been more talk about the lag effect coming home to roost. The lag effect suggests that it sometimes takes a while before we witness the effect of an action. When you poison a plant, or tree there is a time lag before the damage you have inflicted upon it becomes obvious. 

This subject was focused on in two previous articles here on AdvancingTime. The first piece was titled "Mind The Gap." The second looked at how the policy of promoting the "Wealth Effect" has started to shift into reverse. It highlighted the fact that when people see their wealth decline or feel poor they tend to cut spending. Today we must add into the economic mix the toll inflation is taking on consumers. This is a difficult situation to correct.

The reversal in liquidity coupled with higher interest bodes poorly for the economy going forward. The full impact of this has until now been ignored by the market. Today all the preconditions of a major pullback exist. Not only are some of us looking at a hard landing, many of us are expecting a doozy of a crash. Ironically, much of the market's strength now seems rooted in squeezing shorts out of their positions.

Through injecting a huge amount of liquidity and credit into the financial system central banks have sidestepped or lessened recessions since 2008. History indicates the probability of a major recession or worse is nearly unavoidable. Likely this time will not prove to be different and making matters worse is the high level of debt currently outstanding has the potential to create the mother of financial storms.

 As for the lag effect, roughly a year ago the Fed embarked upon one of the sharpest-ever reversals in interest policy in history. Most of the impact from that has yet to be fully felt and will take many months to ripple through the economy. The financial system is not the economy even though many people do not recognize the distinction. The important issue here is that much of Main Street has not yet recovered from the damage fostered upon it during the Covid-19 diabolical and the damage from soaring inflation and now it faces a slowing consumer spending. This is a recipe for disaster.

Most programs unleashed by the "Financial-Political Complex," due to Covid resulted in much of the money spent flowing rapidly into the pockets of those atop the wealth pyramid. Large businesses such as Amazon and major hospitals have been the winners while the big losers have been the middle-class, small businesses, and social mobility. For years the Financial-Political Complex ignored the growing weakness on Main Street and focused on rising GDP numbers that were driven by government deficit spending. Addressing this now is like trying to turn a battleship around in a lake the size of a bathtub, nearly impossible. 

No matter how much money they throw at this the economy will not turn around on a dime or spring back.  We are in the early inning of a long game, we have yet to feel the full power of the lag-time effect. Anyone that thinks next month will be a return to business as usual and fails to mind the gap between expectations and reality is primed for disappointment. Too Big To Fail has become deeply embedded in our crony capitalist society and a key part of the Financial-Political Complex that now runs the show.

Much of the rationale behind QE has been that it creates what the Fed calls a “Wealth Effect.” For years this has been a key driver of central bank policy. This view is firmly embedded in the macroeconometric models used by the Fed. The idea is that by inflating asset prices to make the wealthy (the asset holders) even wealthier, these people will spend more of what they see as free money from asset price inflation. The premise is that this additional spending will create additional demand for goods and services thus providing jobs for the masses. 

Sadly, several times over the years the wealth effect formula has slid off the tracks and most likely will again. Consumption does not create wealth, it creates debt. The example that stands out in the minds of most people is from back in 2008. By loaning money against homes with little scrutiny as to the borrower's ability to repay them the Fed created a financial bubble with broad implications. It could be argued that since 2008, Fed policy has never really addressed that mess but attempted to paper over it by printing money and expanding debt through quantitative easing.

Wealth Effect Policies Have Failed To Generate Enough Growth

Looking back at how pursuing policies that breed the Wealth Effect can slide off track or lose their effectiveness, we see it always centers on the risk they create. At some point, the combination of easy-to-borrow money at low-interest rates tends to morph into a high-risk environment of increased speculation and leverage. In short, savers and investors seeking a return on their savings are forced out of traditional accounts because such investments get ravaged by inflation.

Many Consumers Bought Into This
The 2008 financial crisis caused the biggest recession since the great depression of 1930. It is also referred to as the global financial crisis (GFC). Over the last several years, the Fed has been getting a great deal of well-deserved bad press for driving inequality and fracturing society. Since 2008 it has become apparent the Fed has created an unfair system that is broken, unfair, and corrupt. This has affected different generations in rather specific ways.

Following the GFC the Federal Reserve and the Bush administration spent hundreds of billions of dollars to add liquidity to the financial markets. They worked hard to avoid a complete collapse. They almost didn't succeed. Today we are spending not billions, but trillions of dollars to keep the same corrupt policy moving forward. 

History shows investors should treat the wealth effect with caution because it is susceptible to reversals. One elephant in the room when it comes to growing the economy is how "the broken window theory" is spun and interpreted. The gist of this theory is that if a window is broken, the subsequent repair expenditure will have no net benefits for the economy. Still, it is not uncommon to see destruction touted as a good thing because it promotes spending. In truth, the idea destruction is good discounts several facts. 

One has to do with where the money is coming from but whether it is from an insurance company or someplace else, it still means the money is diverted from being used on another purchase. Repairing a broken window is maintenance spending which doesn’t improve growth because it doesn’t improve productivity. This expenditure would have occurred anyway. The only thing a broken window does is  cause maintenance spending to occur earlier and lower the useful life of the window. Maintenance spending may keep the economy going it doesn’t provide a boost. Instead, it is better to invest the money in something which creates wealth by increasing productivity.

Many people and even economists have real misconceptions as to how the economy works. Where money flows and who it enriches is a key component of economics. The failure to consider this is a blind spot many people have. Years of being told everything revolves around spending has diminished the important role savings play in the scheme of a balanced economy. Fans of Keynesian economics that encourage government spending to stabilize the economy during a downturn tend to discount the importance that where and how money is spent matters a great deal. 

Wealth Effect Policy Has A Poor Record
In the end, the nightmare we face all comes back to the fact current policies are presenting us with diminishing returns while increasing risk. Sadly, financial corruption has played a huge role in getting us here. Never before in our history have Presidents, Fed Chairs, and politicians in general been able to exploit their power and gained massive wealth following their time as so-called public servants. A big part of our current problems is the elite top-down efforts to control our society has created an army of government workers, most un-elected that have been empowered to nibble away at our rights.  

Bubbling up to the surface is the recognition the Fed has to shoulder a huge responsibility in pushing inequality higher. Powell has even gone so far as to claim there was little demand for loans below $1 million. Sadly, the same policies that dump huge money into larger businesses because it is an easier and faster way to bolster the economy give these concerns a huge advantage over their smaller competitors.

The long-term ramifications of destroying smaller businesses will hurt America in the long run. It eliminates competition, reduces opportunity, and over time fuels inflation. This drives my angst directed at companies such as Amazon and big tech. The policy of making people feel better so they spend more than they can afford is part of voodoo economics.  So is sending jobs abroad and increasing our consumption of imported goods which has resulted in a massive trade deficit. Good economic policy encourages personal responsibility and is rooted in saving not spending. 


(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)


Advancing Time: The Economy Is Beginning To Shudder - The Lag Effect

Advancing Time: The Economy Is Beginning To Shudder - The Lag Effect: Shudder is an interesting word, in this case, when talking about the economy, it is being used as a verb that means to wobble or shake in n...

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Friday, May 5, 2023

Advancing Time: Amazon, A Predatory Monster Unleashed Upon America

Advancing Time: Amazon, A Predatory Monster Unleashed Upon America: The news that Amazon is on track to become the largest U.S. delivery service by early 2022, should be troubling to the American people. The ...

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Advancing Time: De-dollarization Message Is Mostly Chinese Propaganda

Advancing Time: De-dollarization Message Is Mostly Chinese Propaganda: The idea the dollar is doomed is being floated everywhere. It is likely it is rooted in a propaganda campaign flowing from China and that de...

De-dollarization Message Is Mostly Chinese Propaganda

The idea the dollar is doomed is being floated everywhere. It is likely it is rooted in a propaganda campaign flowing from China and that deserves a bit more attention. Considering all this noise about de-dollarization it could be argued this is largely a Chinese operation aimed at raising China's standing and weakening America. When looked at objectively the notion the yuan could rival the dollar lacks truth and merit.

A big part of the problem is that many people believe what they hear without questioning or filtering it. The idea of a psychological operation (PSYOP) is to persuade, change and influence audiences. Such operations convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. This is a basic part of "brainwashing."

In short, full-fledged propaganda campaigns are not an accident. If told something enough people begin to believe it. Never forget the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) pays influencers and people writing articles to spread its narrative! It is possible that those adopting the dollars death as fact or a fait accompli may suffer by being scammed into making poor investment decisions based on the idea they should flee the dollar. This is happening in China even as this is being written. In China, some people are converting dollars into yuan. 

The actions to weaponize the dollar certainly reflect poorly on the United States as does our inability to control our spending. As the country given the privilege to have its currency granted the world's reserve currency it would seem America has some responsibility to conduct its affairs in an orderly fashion. Yet, even with all these flaws the dollar remains the cleanest of the dirty paper fiat currencies. It is unbelievable and totally unrealistic to think the weak Chinese yuan which is used so little outside China's domestic market will gain stature.

The notion the dollar is rapidly moving toward the dustbin of worthless currencies is fueled by China is a subject taken on by a fella in a video that raises some good points. Around 15:20 minutes in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWcJVRznD5E he also points out that people trade metals on several exchanges across the world and how important they are is linked to both volume and liquidity. This coupled with the questionable numbers and China's history of rampant corruption tends to support the validity of the claim China is a self-promoter that can't be trusted. 

The Chinese Yuan Is A Very Small Player
Economies run on trust. China may have the world's second-largest economy but there is a reason only around 2.6 percent of world trade is being conducted in the Chinese yuan. That is because China can't be trusted. Those countries lured into China's web through promises of win-win situations often come to regret it. Its history of stealing trade secrets, exploiting relationships, and breaking promises make China a poor business partner.

While this subject of China being a country of poor character has been covered several times here at AdvancingTime, this is a little different spin on it. Still, the key points continue to be the same. A key issue here is that we should never underestimate the desire and ability of the CCP to control and shape a narrative to suit its purpose. The author of this video lived in China for years and has a perspective most of us lack.

China has been moving away from its dependence on America but it will be more difficult than people imagine. China has huge problems that make this planned decoupling a risky gambit. This move has started and it is unlikely to change. China is not springing out of its lockdown but is staying afloat by flooding its markets with cash. In short, it could be argued that China has enjoyed a growth bubble similar to what Japan went through during the 1980s and that it is now over.

To my delight, he also points out that China's so-called President, Xi Jinping is not elected by the people but is more of a Dictator if judged by the standards most of us have been taught. Through an epic power grab, he has turned the position into one he will most likely hold for the rest of his life. The BBC reports that as China's leader, he has overhauled the Communist Party placing himself at the core and nobody else has even a remote chance of challenging him. He is elected by a rubber-stamp session of nearly 3,000 delegates rather than the Chinese people.

When it comes to China keeping things in perspective is very difficult for many Americans. This is even before considering the intentional lies being thrown into the mix by its government. The actions of those with an agenda tend to overwhelm the unaware. China's repressive control of freedom should not be overlooked but rather put under a spotlight so the trend does not extend far across its borders. This is why it is so important we question all the messages China spews forth and the motivation behind them. 


Footnote: Brent Johnson of Santiago Capital is credited with coining the term the "Dollar Milkshake Theory." It explains how our debt-based monetary system can cause the US Dollar to rise despite the increasing liquidity injections around the world. Whether this was a "grand master plan" or a situation that just developed over time, it is something that may bode well for the dollar. More on his views in the following article. https://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2023/01/a-country-can't-save-both-its-currency.html


(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)