Why I’m Not Worried

I’m not Alfred E Neuman, but I do have some history on my side.  The current market situation seems ugly—and it is.  Aside from my preferred stock portfolio, I’ve gone to cash equivalents for my investments.  Here are some tables illustrating recoveries from past ugly market quarters, via Wall Street Journal‘s Market Watch column of, fittingly enough, Christmas Day.

Here we are without the Great Depression:

1932’s recovery isn’t here, but maybe that period was too high a price to pay for the recovery: 163%, 345%, these were from a severely lowered baseline.

Border Wall Funding

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) is continuing to insist—brag, really—that there aren’t the votes in the House or the Senate for funding for a border wall.  Presently, he’s focused on the Senate:

Schumer maintained that Trump does not have the votes for a wall, at least in the Senate.

A US Appellate Court Thinks Americans Are Grindingly Stupid

Kellogg’s makes Cheez-Its, a cheesy, corny confection that’s attractive to lots of folks, especially at boring parties.  Some versions of this snack are marketed as “Whole Grain” or “Made With Whole Grain,” and the text on the packaging makes plain that this means 5 to 8 grams of whole grain for each 29-gram serving along with the primary ingredient being “enriched flour.”

This is too confusing for three women to bear, so they sued.  One of the women went so far as to claim she was injured by all of this, yet, were the packaging only changed, she would continue to purchase the products in the future (where are the feminists over this feigned stupidity?).  There started out some sanity in this idiocy:

Tax Cuts Don’t Have Long-Term Benefits

That’s the claim of ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed.  It’s an accurate claim, too, when tax cuts are taken in isolation, as Furman took them throughout his piece.  That loneliness was emphasized by his closing remarks.

Going forward, policy makers should aim for a reformed tax system that is more stable, economically efficient, simple, and directly supportive of the middle class. Do this right, and the results could be higher economic growth and higher wages without the higher deficits. That’s a combination that’s proved elusive to date.

France is Taxing

The Macron administration utterly failed in its cynical effort to raise its taxes on the French working class and poor with its “climate” tax on transportation fuels, so now it’s going to go after American tech companies with carefully targeted taxes.  And that administration is desperate to get going, and it’s going to do it unilaterally.

In early December, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said France would give the EU until March to come up with a deal on taxing US internet giants. But ten days later he announced the tax would be introduced on January 1.

Wait, what?

Another Schumer Shutdown?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) told NBC NewsMeet the Press that there would be no money for a border wall “in any form.”  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) has been saying much the same thing the last couple of weeks, but she doesn’t have the votes to block the money, and she doesn’t have the votes to become Speaker next month if she doesn’t say no this month.

Taxing Speech

California has decided to kill two birds with one stone.  The State thinks it needs more money, so it’s going to raise a new tax.  The State is anxious to…manage…speech of which it disapproves, so it has chosen its target for its new tax.

California state regulators have been working on a plan to charge mobile phone users a text messaging fee intended to fund programs that make phone service accessible to the low-income residents, reports said Tuesday.

Here’s Jim Wunderman, Bay Area Council President, on the plot, though:

Another Outcome of Supreme Court’s Abuse of the Takings Clause

Recall the Takings Clause of our 5th Amendment:

nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Now recall three critical Takings cases decided by the Supreme Court.  Berman v Parker was a 1954 case in which the Supremes explicitly rewrote that clause to say for public purpose, not useHawaii Housing Authority v Midkiff was a 1984 case in which the Supremes ruled that it was perfectly fine for a State government to take private property away from a private enterprise and give it to private citizens who leased the property from the business.  Kelo v City of New London was a 2005 case in which the Supremes said it was jake for a State government to seize a private citizen’s property and give it to a private business for that business’ purposes.

Union to Management:

“Nice little company you have here.  Be too bad if something was to happen to it.”

That’s what the railroad union EVG said to Germany’s major railroad company, Deutsche Bahn, last Monday as it took its workers off the line, shutting it down, during the rush hour period—a timing intended to inflict maximum damage to DB.  It’s not just the railroad this union extortion strike affected, either.

The strikes also caused major disruption on the roads. Germany’s most populous state, and one of the worst affected by the strike, North Rhine-Westphalia, saw a combined 450 kilometers (280 miles) of tailbacks [backed up traffic from traffic jams], according to regional broadcaster WDR.

Brexit Botch

British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday pulled today’s planned Parliament vote on her Brexit deal with Brussels when it became clear that not even her fellow Tories supported the deal in sufficient numbers to pass.  What’s more, she’s not suggested a new date for the vote, even though something is required to be presented to Parliament by 21 Jan 2019.

The deal as it stands is a terrible one, worse IMNSHO than a plain, unadorned breakout from the European Union.  It represented May’s meek submission to Brussels on nearly every one of their demands—including functional retention of EU immigration “rights” and EU court rulings within what used to be sovereign Great Britain for several years after the British nominal departure.