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Jul. 08, 2013 11:19 AM ET
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Question of the Day

These is a two-part question.
What is your greatest fear?
What level pain should Americans endure to get the nation back on track?

Click here to post your answer and let Charles know what you think.

Hosting Varney & Co This Morning Fox Business 9:15

Yesterday at 8 A.M. local time we saw the start of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. This world-famous event exhibits six bulls, bred for fighting, released to charge down narrow medieval streets in Pamplona. In spite or because 15 people have been killed since 1924 this spectacle attracts would be human racers from all over the planet.

The running of the bulls looks like a mismatch on paper, as bulls have weighed as much as 1,380 pounds, but humans have guile and fear on their side.

Fear is a great motivator and it plays a role in all our lives to varying degrees. One could argue the opposite of fear is faith since it mitigates fear or makes it completely irrelevant. These days few would argue there is much faith in anything allowing fear to exist with even more power than usual. Fear has reduced elected leaders into bunch of small-minded, small-goals oriented folks that only move the needle through fear of real and counterfactual probabilities.

Few things that are important to all people are promoted in a positive manner.

Instead of defeating obstacles in efforts that would make us conquer fear, we are always sold on the notion of avoiding pain. People are fighting major diseases and ailments with pills rather than change of diets, exercise and other lifestyle habits. Alleviating pain has become so much more important than finding cures. The same is true with our education system, which routinely pumps out mediocre students that have been passed through on weak curriculum and inflated grades. Our economy gets propped up on bailouts, stimulus and unlimited schemes to pump money into banks all in hopes of appeasing Main Street with reduced pain - but no prosperity.

So, while faith could be considered the opposite of fear, pain is like fear in the sense it can motivate but can also work hand in hand with fear. The avoidance of pain means the avoidance of greatness.

I write about this often, but we are seeing how this ruins the economy each day. In our July newsletter I go farther and discuss fear and indifference: a lethal combination. Ask your rep for a copy or send me an email request.

Tapering Has Begun

More than 200,000 private sector jobs were created last month, but more than half (112,100) came from low paying leisure and retail. While 'a job is a job' makes for a great mantra in a country starved for any kind of job creation, it doesn't do enough to move the economy forward. Be that as it may, there are critical numbers to consider.

A different kind of tapering has begun. Business tapering in anticipation of harsh and complicated rules from the new healthcare law are just a part of this trend. People that want to move ahead in life have to accept lower pay and maybe soon fewer hours. Sure, the part of the healthcare law that fines businesses $2,000 for each full time worker not covered would be a job-crusher and stall the economy. What makes it even more nutty is full time is considered 30 hours.

Hence the spike in part time employment.

Some people simply don't see how it's worth working less than 30 hours at meager hourly wages.

Hence the spike in discouraged workers.

This leaves people that really want to work knowing, even as the lower rungs of the economic ladder have become more slippery it's supposed to be a first step in a long journey. But others just have to get money - they have bills to pay and families to feed.

Hence the spike in those holding multiple jobs.

So, the headline saw good job production vis-a-vis recent trends with adjustments to the last two months that added an extra 70,000 to the workforce but digging deeper it was a dismal number. The U-6, also known as the real unemployment number, surged to 14.3 from 13.8, its highest level since February.

The Fed will see this as good - but not good enough to stop printing.


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