Arnold has spent the past week contemplating the world as it is. This is a totally wasted exercise I know, but it is necessary none the less.
In the old days (2008) the situation was more clear. Then, there were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The mainstream media were spending half (or more) of their reporting attacking the wars. Now, the wars receive virtually no mention. Then we were dealing with the financial meltdown, and while yes, many of us were frightened or concerned, we plodded along.
Today, we are told that the economy was the worst since the Great Depression, yet during the Great Depression, GDP dropped by over 50%. During the 2008-2009 recession, GDP dropped by less than 5%. During the 1973-1975 recession and during the 1980-1982 recession GDP dropped by much more than 5%. So how was the 2008-2009 recession the worst recession since the Great Depression? Arnold is confused (as usual).
Then there is the constant venomous discourse between the far left and the far right. It is best demonstrated by the differences in the demonstration in Wisconsin against Scott Walker and the Tea Party demonstrations. During the Wisconsin demonstrations, there have been violence; and additionally the personal attacks against Governor Scott Walker as a Nazi, or as Hitler were extremely pervasive. While the Tea Party apparently had one or two similar characterizations of President Obama, amongst the hundreds of demonstrations there was no violence and virtually no vitriol. Why is that? Why is the far left using vitriol against those who do not agree with them? Why is it anyone who disagrees with the far left is a racist or a homophobe or some other offensive characterization? Why is the issue in Wisconsin from the union standpoint “an attack on the middle class” when in fact, the state has a huge deficit and needs to cut expenses; and by any measure the union compensations is higher than any legitimate comparison? I just don’t understand any of this, but what do I know?
What is going on? Every day the financial information is contradictory, the geopolitical data is contradictory and nothing makes sense.
Each day Arnold spends upwards of four hours reviewing the news stories from a multitude of places. When Arnold first starting writing Arnold’s Ramblings in 2002, this exercise was much more coherent, because the information generally speaking was consistent and usually non-contradictory. Today, the information doesn’t make sense most days, and is also contradictory. So, let me explain what I mean. Let us take a basic news story such as the Wisconsin state budget shortfall. On the surface, this is a story about cutting the costs to the state of Wisconsin to facilitate a balanced budget. But, no this has become a story of Democrat lawmakers refusing to vote, unions demonstrating (at times violently and certainly making highly offensive signs), Governor Walker making threats to lay off workers, and on and on. Yet, all this story really is, is an attempt by the state of Wisconsin to follow state law and have a balanced budget; and of course to do as the citizens elected the public officials. Nothing is at it seems.
Actually as I listen to the 14 Democrat State Senators from Wisconsin, their position is that their votes (should) count for the majority; when in fact they are in the minority. So, let me understand this correctly; when the Democrats are in the majority (as in, say, California) and (assuming that in order to vote the Republicans were needed for a quorum as in Wisconsin) and Republicans disagree with the Democrats, then the Republicans should hide out and prohibit any legislation from passing. So, if in every state and municipality each party followed this practice; and if in Congress each party followed this practice; nothing would get done. No legislation. Let me think about this further.
• The DJIA has fallen some, but it still looks higher.
• Gold has broken to new highs and still looks higher.
• Oil has continued to new highs (for this cycle) and also looks higher.
• Interest rates are back up to 4.6% or so for the 30 year Treasury and also look higher.
• The dollar is looking lower; then should reverse up. The sentiment is very negative, so we may be near a bottom.
• Real estate continues to look weak.
• The economy also continues to look weak to me.
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