Sunday, August 23, 2009

Leave the Bar of Soap on the Ground

The bad news is that they just yelled “Fire!” in the movie theater, the good news is, there are now seats available. Want to buy a home or a car? Boy, do we have a deal for you! Officials have just declared that the recession is over. Just think about it, the government never knew we were even in one until it became so damn obvious. Now they claim we are out of it--Just who is out of what?

Over consumption got us into this mess. Now, more government spending is the solution? It’s kind of like giving a guy with a broken leg, a second set of crutches so he can move twice as fast.

Here is the latest release on Unemployment figures and it is not good. Add SIX PERCENT to those values to reach more realistic figures.
Then we have the foreclosure reports nationwide. The shading colors dress it up a bit. Compare the unemployment statistics with the foreclosure map. The two together suggests that the problem has some size to it. It could be argued that the foreclosure data is not as current as the labor statistics, which would add more rain to the parade.

Let's color everything from 8% on up as distressed.Here is what it should look like (you know things are getting worse when you need fewer different colored crayons). This problem is not going away. Many state budgets are in a financial crisis. Tax bases are shrinking while expenditures are increasing.

As for a gauge of where we are at, our leaders in Congress appear to be mixing Preparation H with AstroGlide. The thought that they claim to know what they are doing, bothers me.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

Love the title... So much is said in the statement and if were a picture would be worth a 1,000 words. A political cartoonist could have a field day with that one.

If you look solely at the market since March-09, there appears to be a few folks not only eager to pick it up, but starting to wash each others back with it. Who are these sheep buying into the notion that the "worst is behind us"?

If you look back at the crash of 1929 it appeared to bottom out about a month after the "great" plunge and over the next 5 months began its false recovery. I can't help but wonder what forces where in play back then to cover up how bad things actually were.

Who owned the news papers and radio stations back then? What role did the government play with these media outlets in those days to paint rosy pictures? More importantly, who owns them today and what story is being told to us now?

Our country is in desperate need of a true independent news source, not affiliated with any political organization, corporation, industry or government agency free from all internal/external influence. I have no doubt that many of the MSM outlets are not only withholding information from the American people, but are merely pro-government propaganda machines.

Until we get "real" information on the state of our nation... I agree Jim, not only should we leave the soap on the ground but keep our backs firmly against the wall.


Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Angry Tax Payer

The stock market isn't really following the script--yet. I think this time around, the mutual funds didn't break and run. That could change when the Chinese market collapses.

I don't think that the news media is to blame here. I firmly believe that the government is cooking the books and they are keeping it all under wraps.

You have to admit, what we are discussing here, is not front page material that sells newspapers.

Your mindset agrees with mine. There is a move to mislead and misdirect the average American into thinking everything is OK. I don't think we can label it political, the election is over. But whatever the government is doing, doesn't set well with most of us and we are not quite sure why.

When you count 10 chickens yesterday and count 5 today, you are going to want some answers.---Looks like we have more questions than we have chickens.

Thank you for your comments and take care.

Anonymous said...

"desperate need of a true independent news source"
Yes, I realized this when the Iraq war restarted.

As for when this recession ends, I have an idea of when we can tell: The age of consumerism is at an end, it is dying. There are 5 phases of death: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and lastly Acceptance.

The recession ends when we (consumers and the Government) are in the 5th phase. Consumers are in the third phase now, but Government is still in the first, as attested to 'mark to fantasy' accounting, shadow foreclosures, false news media coverage, massive bailouts, stimulus, etc.

The anger at the town halls may be due to this disconnect.

We still have a long way to go.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon

I hear where you are coming from. My nephew came back from Iraq last week, it was his third and last tour, he quit.

I think that we are moving from a recession to a depression. Things are not getting better.

The anger in the town hall meetings is getting more apparent. Everyone knows that BS doesn't pay the bills.

I think you need to relabel "The five phases of death" as the "Five phases of being broke." And if you are over the age of 60 you won't sleep well at night. Bernanke is going to trim your nails and your retirement account. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Nice relabel, fits well!

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon

I use a program called IE Spell Check when writing comments. The program didn't catch it.

I must have dropped a hyphen somewhere. I'll probably find it when I vacuum the floor.

Take care

Rob in NS said...

Just a quick question thrown out to you all. Is the anger shown at Town Halls genuine or is it staged for benefit of media? I ask that because here at least in my neck of the woods (Nova Scotia Canada) the debate seems tame in comparison.

Rob in NS said...

Jim with all this unemployment I doubt there will be any kind of bounce in real estate prices unless the folks in charge just plan to inflate the problem away. Maybe that is what is really in store. Dow Jones at 20,000, house prices thru the roof and gasoline 10 or 20 bucks a gallon. Once that happens the guys and gals on MSNBC will be telling everyone how great things are in stock market while the rest of us are stuck walking to work, if we are still lucky enough to have job, because we cannot afford gas for our cars. Talk about a disconnect. I'm not holding my breath waiting for things to change in how media (MSM) portrays the economy.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim,

Please keep focused, as you have been since 2005. Your voice has been one of a few that see things how they really are. Those who put their faith in the MSN to honestly report our dire situation are being left in the dust.

Heads up Jim... The words "crash, depression" and the phrase "colapse of the dollar" is no longer hip and are out of date. Todd Harrison, CEO of, uses new PC terms when describing our ef'd up financial situation:

"crash" has become "the conditional elements for a downside dislocation"

"colapse" of the dollar has become a "seismic readjustment" of the dollar

"depression" is now described as a "prolonged period of socioeconomic malaise"

You have to admit, The Great Prolonged Period of Socioeconomic Malaise of 2006 is a much prettier, feel good title and has a nice ring to it.

Keep up the great work Jim. Some of us are in great debt to your continued voice of reason.


Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Rob

Your media question revolves around perspective. The newspapers or TV, need viewers, which brings in more advertising dollars. You feed the viewer to keep them watching.

Most of modern Journalism revolves around the old Greek Tragedy plays--the rise to power and then the fall from grace. It makes for good reading and scripting for a media source.

Obama figured he had a cake walk on health care in these town meetings. The media played on the anger and the viewers sucked it up. There won't be any more town meetings for Obama. You can use the media or be used by it. In this case, Obama got used.

Jim in San Marcos said...


As to your second missive, I see it the same way you do.

I wouldn't fault the media for showing hope that everything will get better. I once asked my stock broker why he never recommended shorting stocks and he replied "People want to be positive about the market when they invest. I would lose my customer base."

My only question is how long will it take to get to where you project we are going, three months or three years??? It is anybody's guess.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Angry TaxPayer

I think I gave up when they refereed to a "garbageman" as a "Sanitation Engineer."

Tod Harrison cracks me up, he has a lot of good common sense. Thank you for the complements, it is my paycheck.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

We had a Great Depression once already, and it didn't kill us. So it's not the end of the world if we were to have a repeat. All this worrying is very harmful to one's health. Try to do a few things to shore up your finances, certainly, but don't live in constant fear.