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An Online Journal of Independent Views & Discussion
June 7, 2013
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Bailing Wire and Duct Tape


When I was a kid I had a ’52 Ford that I hung together mostly with bailing wire: throttle, choke, shift linkage...I had 20 pounds of the stuff wrapped around every joint, linkage, crank and control. Inevitably some point of the wired morass would break from over-twisting or getting hung-up on some, more stationary component leaving it once-again debilitated.

For the most part the Ford continued to run, just like the US economy continues to plug along notwithstanding the abundance of fiscal duct tape (today’s bailing wire equivalent) we seemed to have wrapped around the Market, Housing, and Unemployment.

In an earlier article you’ll find in the Archives section, Forget the Fiscal Cliff... we identify the myriad travails we face in the US to right a crumbling economy now dependent on these quick, temporary fixes that do nothing to curb long-term causality.

On Tuesday, June 25, The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group announced that Consumer Sentiment had reached a Five Year High, and we’re pleased for those consumers: Turning a Frown Upside Down is key to a faith-based economy such as ours and we all benefit from increased Consumer Spending since about 70% of the US economy is based on the act of you and I buying things.

The problem is, aside from the vast Welfare payments made to Wall Street to bolster investment (read de la Luna’s, Taking Wall Street Off Welfare, on this page), the millions who have fallen off the Unemployment rolls and are no longer integral to reported figures (read, The Recovery, Fake, Fake, Fake, here), the millions of home mortgages that remain under water, the vastly different job market offering nothing but barely-above minimum wage in the Services sector, is that none of this sustainable: It’s bailing wire.

Our Housing market can never recover because, broadly, we do not have the average Household Income to bring Housing back to where it was pre-collapse. It took higher wages in then-dollars derived from an economy where Manufacturing was not less than 20% of our GDP, and two household incomes to bring it to where it was.

We cannot bring the Job market fully back because Consumer Sentiment, albeit at a Five Year High, is still directed at consuming products that are made in other countries; so Manufacturing, the truly supportive form of employment – keeping the wheels of the Government and the Service sectors well greased – will continue to stagnate or further collapse.

The only other industry in the US with the shear economic horsepower to keep us trundling along, much like the old 292 Y-Block in my ’52 Ford, is Health Care. And, that is the reason for Obamacare, or what is laughingly referred to by the sobriquet, the Affordable Care Act. In the next two years, if everything goes as planned, millions of Americans will seek medical care further fueling an industry Obama intends to supplant for the age-old, tried-and-true economic machine of Manufacturing.

Just as we’ve seen in the recent past, we’ll see more in the way of Disease Manufacturing. Recently on the rise, hitherto unknown, is Chronic Obstructed Pulmonary Disease, COPD, or what one gets when one sits on one’s ass instead of actively participating in life, and as the natural result of aging.

The first of these contrived diseases symptomatic of a civilization lost in a world of television and inaction or thought, as I look back, was the malaise associated with a general sense of ennui and helplessness, or Epstein-Barr. It was fallacious then: it still is.

Expect the list of new diseases to grow: Expect that Americans will look for new and improved Pharmaceuticals and Health Care procedures to extend their relatively uninvolved, worthless Service sector and Disability retirement lives another few years to no end other than to act as grist for the mill: Bailing wire for the failing carburetor linkage of the US Economy.

Obviously my Consumer Sentiment level is not at a Five Year High. I’m a Realist.