"And here's to you, Mr. Steve Jobs
Jesus loves you more than you will know
God bless you please, Mr. Steve Jobs
Heaven holds a place for those who pray"
In my mind, Steve Jobs will always be that fresh faced visionary who lived to wow the crowd and as such, I can't help but to think of a nation that once had a fresh face and lived to wow. Much of Steve Jobs' legacy was laid out in his famous commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005.
Jobs talked about how unromantic his college experience was at first because it was too expensive so he didn't have a dorm room, slept on floors in the rooms of friends, and returned coke bottles for five cent deposits. He retold how he walked seven miles across town every Sunday night to get a good meal at the Hare Krishna temple.
He talked about greatness and the only way to do great work is to love what you do, imploring that graduating class to keep looking if they hadn't found it yet. We are all afraid when we head out into the world as fresh faced young adults, and I think that that fear is perhaps greater now than it has been in generations.
I find it sad and ironic that while Jobs was passing away, fresh faced kids were brawling with the police in New York City. They're protesting banks, though most probably never took out a loan. They're protesting the jobs market, but most have not even been on a single job interview. Steve Jobs, on the other hand, knocked on doors and heard no over and over again until someone said yes.
Jobs ended his speech encouraging the audience to stay hungry, stay foolish. We need to be hungry enough to work out of our current malaise and foolish enough to still dream of being great.
Killing the Dream
The latest gambit in the war on success will see the Senate pass a bill to add a 5% surcharge tax on people making more than $1,000,000 a year. This new tact knocks out a couple of birds with a single stone.
A) Extends the war on success and stokes animosity toward people that have maximized the American Dream and are already paying their so-called fair share.
B) Gets Democrats that couldn't vote on hiking taxes on families with joint incomes north of $250,000 on board.
The idea of passing this bill fast is already shot, and shot because Democrats in oil-producing states and in higher income states understand the absurdity of penalizing hard working people and job creators in the name of wealth redistribution and class warfare. It's amazing how mean-spirited this would-be action on behalf of compassion really is. People that don't work demanding people that do work pay more than 40% of their income to the federal government is unreal. 99% of people earning more than a million dollars a year had to work very hard to get to that level, and must work just as hard to maintain that level or climb higher.
If you take money from people that are working and give it to people that are not working, at some point the system is out of money and nobody is working. Nonetheless, this is the route we're on, and there's no turning back for the Administration, unions, and anarchists.
"You're already hearing the Republicans in Congress dusting off the old talking points, you know what? If asking a billionaire to pay the same rate as a plumber or a teacher makes me a warrior for the middle class, I wear that charge as a badge of honor." -President Obama
Here's the sad irony of the statement made above in honor of stoking anger and class warfare. In many places a successful plumber with a couple of workers and a school teacher spouse make more than $250,000. These are the people President Obama is telling us are greedy, and not paying their fair share. This thing is about redistribution of wealth to unions while appeasing the general public, which is hurting so badly they want to lash out. I don't get how anyone would think we are going to help the economy with higher taxes. I don't see how anyone could believe taking from the not-so-rich helps a person with little job skills get a job.
I call this economic bloodlust. I had the same thing, but for those that attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon. I wanted revenge as those were our true enemies. The enemies of Americans aren't hard working successful Americans. The enemies of unemployed working people aren't people that take risks that could create jobs. The enemies of the homeless are not people buying homes and paying mortgages. Stoking this economic bloodlust as an economic policy is outrageous. It's dangerous.
It is really amazing that lawmakers squeeze banks to the point where they must seek profits in other ways that make them look like villains and, in the process, make capitalism look evil and mean-spirited. When prominent Democrats ask people to make a run on a giant, but teetering bank, you wonder how much they must really hate this country. I believe in creative destruction, and it was a mistake to rescue banks, but to ask Americans to deliberately hurt another American company with thousands of workers is beyond the pale.
I love the action in oversold sectors like copper (NYSE:FCX) coal (PCX) and industrial metals, along with stocks sensitive to the global economy and transportation names, too. I like the way the market closed the last couple of days. There is no doubt bias has reversed to the upside and both fence-sitters and shorts have to be on edge. Investors need reassurance about our economy, not falling off a cliff. That has been priced into the market, so if that hurdle is cleared perhaps green shoots will offset the debacle we call Washington.
The market was poised to take off today after the Bank of England initiated its version of QE2 with a $115.0 billion bond purchasing scheme. Many thought it would pressure the ECB to be more aggressive. That didn't happen, and the air came out of the futures. The bias is still to the upside and there is a good chance we could see a rally ahead of the jobs numbers, which don't have to be great to be good.
By: David Urani, Research Analyst
Initial jobless claims rose last week to 401k from 395k and were above the 410k consensus estimate. So that brief foray under 400k in the previous week was short-lived, as usually turns out to be the case. Continuing claims were down by 52k to 3.7 million. One thing we have been watching recently is the declines in extended benefits, and last week about 28k fell off. This number may represent those so called 99ers whose benefits have expired.