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A heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to evil.
Proverbs 6:18

Robert Reich and the political left continue to devise wicked imaginations and promote policies based on punishment of those that have excelled. Such policies have and always will hurt those at the bottom more than those at the top. Reich fanned the flames of outrage while citing record sales of Lamborghinis and Ferraris, sales of $100 million condos, plus sales at Tiffany. He then went on to ask: At what point does conspicuous consumption by the ultra-wealthy invite a revolution?

Envy is a human emotion that for many is unavoidable. It's admirable when that emotion is channeled into aspiration and despicable when politicians use it to fan the flames of anger and hatred. In this case Reich isn't warning of revolution, instead he's pleading for revolution. In the process he's also saying capitalism does not work, America has reached its peak and regular people do not have what it takes to pull themselves up by the bootstraps.

Yet, the people Reich rails against earned their wealth in a capitalist system, pushed America to new peaks and got there with that pivotal first step of pulling themselves up by the bootstraps.

If this way of thinking catches on even more with the public than it already has, then America could suffer irreversible harm. This massive push into a country that has no faith in God, themselves or their laws is a major reason a dark cloud remains overhead. The answer is not a collective run by the super elite. The answer isn't pushing all wealth in a giant pot to be administrated the right way by an otherwise detached administration.

"When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . They neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters."

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America Volume 2

In the end, it has to be about engendering aspirational urges that motivate people to pursue and capture their dreams.

The Fed

Janet Yellen's yawner yesterday was good enough for the market to breathe a sigh of relief. Her measured words made me feel like I was watching the great migration crossing of three million animals through crocodile-infested waters of the Serengeti. So, the Fed is on the backburner for the moment, but the market needs a spark and it has to come from better US economic data.

Jobless Claims

Regarding the initial jobless claims figure that came out this morning, the outlook for the June unemployment number should definitely show some improvement. Today's initial jobless claims showed a 6,000 dip last week to 312,000. The 4-week average, at 311,750, is now down 11,000 from the middle of May. We note that the mid-month readings tend to compare well with the government's monthly employment report.

Improvement is also evident in the continuing claims which are lagged by one week. Continuing claims for the week of June 7th fell by 54,000 to a new recovery low of 2.561 million. The best part is that there are no seasonal or holiday factors influencing the data this week, so the improvement is far more believable.