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Inspirational Reading ... Pull Up To The Bumper, Baby By Charles Payne

Question of the Day

What parts of the OECD report do you agree with, and which parts is bunk?

Click here to post your answer and let Charles know what you think. He will air some on the Payne Nation radio show.

Maybe it's too soon but I'm shocked at how few political bumper stickers I see out there. What's even more interesting is how few Obama-Biden bumper stickers I'm seeing on my daily commute between New York and New Jersey. In fact I've seen more 2008 stickers than the newer and harder to read 2012 version. I haven't seen any for Romney, although I wouldn't expect many in the part of the country I live, but there are a lot of anti-Obama stickers like the one that reads "Sorry Yet?"

I know it's anal retentive, but it's the curse of being an analyst. I analyze everything and everybody, which isn't good for relationships. It is, however, good for finding trends and making observations that many would be oblivious to, and others would find trivial.

In my roundtrip commute, I saw few bumper stickers, but there were a few that stood out because they spoke of pride and determination to continue to be great.

I saw parents that were proud of their children for excelling in school and for protecting the nation. There are days when these kinds of bumper stickers should move the needle on the market. These things should resonate as much the skyrocketing needs and abuse of food stamps. Nobody is embracing blame but, instead, embracing pride and determination. Often I'll pull up next to an old Saab or some kind of plug-in car and grind my teeth at the assortment of bumper stickers that amount to a traveling pity party.

Presidents can wreck economies, and presidents can spark optimism and provide the emotion and policy underpinnings for widespread prosperity, but in the end individual commitment to being the best, competing, learning, and improving make the nation great. Moreover, I want us to take pride for excellence as well. I suspect the ride itself is a monetary statement even for those Hollywood types with a Prius in the driveway, but a couple of Bentleys in the garage. We shouldn't swallow success as if it's something not to be proud of but instead wear it as badge of honor. At the very least, let's slap it on the bumper.


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) posted a report on the U.S. economy that was very interesting. The OECD isn't going to put out anything that would hurt a liberal Democrat, so their report tried to look at the bright side, but there are distinct problems that must be recognized.

The U.S. should do more to fix its educational system, including moving away from local property-tax based funding. According to OECD, the United States is one of only three developed countries that spend less on students from disadvantaged backgrounds than on other students. Moreover, they point out the best teachers rarely work with students that need the most help.

Americans on unemployment benefits too long could stop "aggressively" looking for work and it would be smart (and I assume fair and honest) to pare back jobless benefits to the pre-recession baseline of 26-weeks. (It is noted the 99 week extension has pulled back to 73 weeks recently).

Labor participation rate among working age Americans (20 to 64) is at a 30-year low-something I've pointed out many times.

The decline in the labor force is happening, partly, as a result of the ease in getting disability checks, or as abusers of the system call them "crazy checks," which has seen enrollment climb to 6.6% in 2010 from 6.1% in 2007. I guarantee the number has exploded significantly higher since then.

The thing about the work of the OECD is it should spur action not just gaping yawns.

Today's Session

All quiet on the western front. European markets are edging higher, and our markets will open in the green, but the word of the day is caution. Tomorrow the Supremes take center stage, and that should impact the stock market unless it's a ruling that's as ambivalent as the Arizona ruling. The big news comes Friday when Europe wraps up its summit. Speaking of cautious, take a look at Wall Street ratings on Facebook: