Question of the Day|
President Obama says rugged individualism is a myth-it never happens just like no successful business person did it without the masses that paid for the sidewalk in front of the shop or factory.
You have to be very special to have a day named after you, so imagine what you had to do to have an entire month.
Augustus Caesar got revenge for the murder of his maternal uncle and adoptive father, ruled over a period of peace in Rome known as Pax Romana, and was an absolute ruler in a society that called itself a republic. I wonder if anyone in power today dreams of such a situation (wink). Certainly our republic is under fire as the Constitution is being mauled, Congressional authority usurped and rights of individual states clubbed into submission.
Roman Emperors gained success with wars and conquest, these days the fight isn't over glory but over gold that fellow citizens have earned.
Putting business owners and successful people into the arena may sate one of the seven deadly sins but when the cheering ends where will the people go to work the next day?
There are less than 100 days left for America to decide if it wants an emperor that can only be benevolent until the last ounce of blood is spilled from large businesses to small, or a return to what made this nation great in the first place. It would seem like a no-brainer but sadly it's a nail-biter. There is a massive campaign afoot to dislodge several aspects of America's greatness:
* Rugged Individualism and the idea that "you didn't build this" coming toward you from people that never built anything but distrust, fear and anger.
* Belief in God is under full frontal attack. People ridiculed and punished for their interpretation of what marriage is based on how they understand the Bible is amazing in the land of freedom of religion. Atheists control the message and, in fact, have more power than environmentalists.
* Free Markets and the concept of consumers making decisions are being attacked and most often with taxpayer money. $10,000 to buy a Volt is maddening and still I smell another bailout for GM.
* The cream rising to the top is no longer acceptable in this new push to turn the nation upside down. I never thought a President of the United States would say hard working people that have achieved success have fewer values than less hard working people that get to go home every day at 5:00 and catch the primetime line-up.
Having written these things, I don't think we will have a new month on the calendar. I think Americans, even those most frustrated with the system, will understand it's designed for them to overcome and certainly for their children to overcome starting points and finish the day with the gold, earned through hard work. I think the market is beginning to reflect this sentiment as well. It's early and Mitt has a game plan that seems loosely based on someone expecting to get rich winning the lottery. America is already built to last and it's a coiled spring ready to re-conquer the world instead of punishing productive citizens.
Why Are People Saving More?
Ben Bernanke must have been upset to see personal savings rate leap to 4.4% from 4.0% in a single month. The rate is at its highest level since June of last year and this is the most eye-popping month to month increase since Dec 2009 to Jan 2010 (4.0% to 4.7%).
Even though consumer confidence came in better than expected and higher for the first time in months, people seem to have a gut feeling about the Washington DC gang. Or should I say, the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight. It bears watching as the trend has steadily increased off the 3.2% reading from last November.
The fact is we are all hunkered down from businesses, to banks, to individual households. There is a storm brewing in the form of new taxes, an avalanche in regulations designed to deter exceptionalism and embarrass successful Americans. This storm can be averted.
Once again the story beyond the next round of money-printing has been corporate earnings that underscore the nation's greatness and great potential. Just announced Cinnabon announced a franchise in Libya- a first for an American country. I can only hope they don't attract the scorn of the White House for sending American jobs aboard. Without tongue planted in cheek it's a good sign for both Libya and America this is happening.
We can celebrate this morning, we are leading in the medal count in London (China still raking in more gold) and our manufacturing was better than Europe's in July.
The backdrop is perfect for the ECB to step in but still questionable for the Federal Reserve which is desperate but understands another ineffective round of quantitative easing would erase the little credibility they have left.
This morning's report from ADP shows 163,000 jobs created last month. That would be better than expected, and if it were true (their number was more than 100,000 job higher than that of the BLS last time) it would be a step in the right direction like 1% GDP growth. But, it's woefully low and does nothing to erase massive job losses. It does make the guessing game more intense, however, and might add a glimmer of hope.