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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Why You Think The Economy's So Bad

In a lot of ways, you're right. This is Fed series A229RXO, Real Disposable Personal Income Per Capita.

There are obvious constraints on growth and obvious constraints on saving, which makes it hard for the younger to accumulate savings, and even harder for the older. Getting much in the way of inflation with these income statistics is an impossibility - if prices rise, people are forced to consume less.

Only time can heal this - next year the YoY change will be better, and the five year change will rise to about the 5% level, which would be a big help.

Under such circumstances, the domestic consumption growth is aimed toward necessities and lower priced luxuries. The good news is that the US economy is producing more energy, always produces a lot of food, and gets a decent amount of income off the lower priced luxuries. The bad news is that increases in taxation have the capacity to knock the recovery off its rocker, as do mandates to consumers to purchase services they can't afford, which is just another name for "tax".   

Comments:
I beg you to reconsider the title of this post!

This needs to be an ongoing series. New charts and new reasons every week! Don't forget to post a 40+ million missing jobs report every now and then!

Oh, wait. That's what I've been doing on my blog for 6+ years. Never mind, lol. Sigh.

Gallows humor.
 
Deficits and rentier share of GDP are what are strangling growth. Why seek out productive uses for capital when risk free is good enough?
 
Here are long-term charts that should make any reality-based math-competent economist cringe.

Peak U.S. Public Air Transportation Services
 
Rob Dawg,

Wges / Disposable Personal Income

The tapeworm hungers!
 
Mark - it turns out we're not all crazy.

Rob - Oh, a shit load of things are strangling growth.
 
To ARMs to Arms! The taperworm is coming! The Fed has hung a lantern in the Church of Perpetual Devaluation.
 
MOM,

“There are certain people in whom you can detect the seeds of madness - seeds that have remained dormant only because the people in question have lived relatively comfortable, middle class lives. They function perfectly well in the world, but you can imagine, given a nasty parent, or a prolonged bout of unemployment, how their potential for craziness might have been realized.” ― Zoë Heller

Oh oh.
 
That's okay Mark. I figure on bucking the trend and generating some economic activity this month. In January, you're on your own.
 
The "taperworm" - I love it. The single definitive economic investment theory of our time. Once the taperworm gets you, it's all over.

This is all so unfunny that we have to have a good sense of humor about it.

What we need is someone good at photoshop to work with some of the screenshots from "Dune", so the Taperworm can have a public image.
 
I'm at the point where I don't trust macro data anymore, it's too skewed by the favors done for Wall Street.

On main street, what I'm hearing about the middle-class housing market is somewhat frightening. Buyers doing 100% LTV, and asking the sellers to pay the closing costs.

We can achieve 2% macro growth as long as the rich get richer at a faster rate than the poor get poorer. ACA seems like a nice way to make the rich richer for the illusion of the poor actually getting health CARE rather than mere health INSURANCE.
 
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