Initial unemployment claims were down again last week maintaining the improving trend. The big headline trumpeted on the news this morning was that capital goods orders (that’s business equipment), orders were down again in April, (SURELY PROVING THAT OBAMA IS KILLING THE ECONOMY). They don’t mention that this has been the trend since the special tax break that Obama and the Democrats gave to small business on such purchases expired at the end of the past year. The Republicans who are such so-called “friends to small business” have refused to renew the tax break. Tax cuts are only for the really, really rich, don’t you know?
Durable goods orders were up however (cars, appliances and such) suggesting that business is in fact recovering. North American auto makers are operating at near capacity and will curtail the normal summer plant shut downs in order to meet demand. You don’t hear the Republicans chanting their favorite question so much any more, “are you better off than you were four years ago?”, because too often the answer is “yes”.
Not that we’re doing all that great. We could re-instate the Alexander Hamilton plan that built America, the plan that Reagan and his successors killed. If you’re old enough, you can remember the bright shiny George Jetson future we were promised for the 21st century, you know, like the Chinese are doing. They really like our founding fathers in China, and learn from them.
Gasoline prices continue to decline at the time of year when you would expect them to go up. Families are planning to drive a lot more for Memorial weekend, although air travel is expected to be down. Airlines are still hurting from getting burned on jet fuel futures, and they are taking it out on ticket buyers. Wall Street bankers drove the expected fuel price way up, so airlines have been contracted into paying higher than the current market price for fuel.
When you’re on a plane and riding back in steerage, where you pay extra for oxygen, just remember the fat banker up in first class paid for his ticket with the money he made off of your ticket. The same goes for filling up at the gas pump, the price maybe down compared to last year, but you’re still paying a lot extra. Republicans won’t allow the Dodd-Frank Act to be enforced against bankers controlling the price of gasoline, that‘s how Ann Romney can drive several Cadillacs, and you‘ve got your eye on a used Toyota.
The predatory Wall Street banks are moving against Spain’s banks using their lap dog credit rating agencies to downgrade Spain to junk bond status. Spain was a really bright spot in the world’s economy but unregulated predatory trans-national capitalism is destroying them. If the so-called periphery countries of Europe were smart, they would flip off the bankers like Iceland did. The bankers made a grab for the whole island and lost, the Vikings were too tough for them. The consolation prize for the bankers seems to be southern Europe. Don’t worry, they will get around to us eventually. www.prairie2.com