Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Economics

Target, TJX, Home Depot Follow Walmart With Increased Sales and Profits in Third Quarter

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 20, 2019: 

Target, the eighth-largest retailer in the United States, reported blowout sales and profits in the third quarter, a week after Walmart, the country’s largest retailer, reported similar results. Not only is the U.S. consumer alive and well, he is enjoying the benefits of a robust and growing economy.

Target boasts nearly 1,900 stores nationwide, employing more than 360,000 people, and Wall Street has rewarded investors in the company’s stock with gains of nearly 100 percent since just before last Christmas. And 2018 was, according to Target’s CEO Brian Cornell, the “most successful holiday in more than a decade.”

The retailer is expecting this year’s holiday shopping season to exceed last year’s, with gains of between three and four percent over last year’s results.

Specifically,

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Sun Tzu Was Right: the Way to Defeat an Enemy Is to Keep Him Ignorant that There’s a War

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 20, 2019: 

Five hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ, a Chinese military genius named Sun Tzu (or “Master Sun”) arose from obscurity to write “The Art of War.” His military strategies, and proverbs attending them, remain relevant today.

Michael Pillsbury, author of “The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower,” exposed the communists’ (currently ruling the Chinese mainland) reliance upon Tzu’s strategies in confronting its temporarily superior enemy, the United States. In essence, wrote Pillsbury, the way to defeat a superior enemy is to invite him to help you become his superior without giving away the game.

It may be called the Kissinger strategy, and Pillsbury, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) since the Nixon administration, worked diligently to promote it. In his book, he referred to himself as a “panda hugger.”

But Pillsbury, to his credit, came in from the cold, repented, and in 2015 wrote what some are calling a 300-page apology to the American people for deceiving them. He wrote:

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New York Times Claims FedEx Paid Zero Taxes in 2018; FedEx Founder Wants Debate

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 18, 2019:

After reviewing various publicly available sources, three New York Times staff writers discovered that FedEx Corporation paid no income taxes in 2018. They also discovered that FedEx didn’t use the estimated $1.6 billion it saved in taxes to increase its investment in new equipment, reneging on an implied promise FedEx’s founder, Fred Smith, made when lobbying for Trump’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act.

This was perfect fodder to promote the Times’ anti-capitalist ideology that FedEx, and by extension all capitalists, are greedy selfish liars. The paper made its case in a front-page article published on Sunday.

The three Times staffers made clear their ideology, noting in the article’s opening that “the company, like much of corporate America, has not made good on its promised investment surge from President Trump’s 2017 tax cuts.” They noted:

In the 2017 fiscal year, FedEx owed more than $1.5 billion in taxes. The next year, it owed nothing….

 

FedEx reaped big savings … but it did not increase investment in new equipment and other assets in [2018] as Mr. Smith said businesses like his would.

Instead, the company used “much of its [tax] savings … to reward shareholders: FedEx spent more than $2 billion on stock buybacks and dividend increases in the 2019 fiscal year, up from $1.6 billion in 2018, and more than double the amount the company spent on buybacks and dividends in fiscal year 2017.”

The staffers extended their accusations from FedEx to capitalists in general: “From the first quarter of 2018, when the [tax] law took effect, companies have spent nearly three times as much on additional dividends and stock buybacks, which boost a company’s stock price and market value, than on increased investment.”

This aroused the ire of Smith, who issued a statement later that day calling the article a calumny and challenging the Times’ editor, A.G. Sulzberger, to a public debate. Said Smith:

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Saudi Aramco IPO to be Huge Disappointment

This article appeared online at TheNewAmeican.com on Sunday, November 17, 2019:  

Saudi Arabia’s “crown jewel” — Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company — announced on Sunday that it is only offering 1.5 percent of itself for sale in December, at a price far less than Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) had hoped for. And if things don’t meet even those minimum now greatly reduced expectations, the company could pull the offering before it goes public in December.

When first floated in 2016, MBS suggested he could sell five percent of the state-owned and controlled oil company and receive $100 billion to jump start his Vision 2030. He assumed that his “jewel” is worth $2 trillion.

Analysts looking through the 600-page prospectus that was released last week on the deal aren’t impressed, with many suggesting a much lower valuation, perhaps as low as just $1 trillion. That could turn MBS’s dream into a nightmare. If the offering goes well, he might receive $25 billion. If it doesn’t go well

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Economists Forecast GDP Growth Under Two Percent; Walmart Shoppers Disagree

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 15, 2019:

Because of its enormous size, Walmart serves as a better proxy for the health of the U.S. economy than any other retailer. Employing more than 1.5 million workers in almost 4,800 U.S. stores, the company generated a third of a trillion dollars in sales in its latest fiscal year.

As a result, Walmart is proving to be a better indicator for the U.S. economy than most economic forecasters.

It reported third-quarter results on Thursday that exceeded expectations,

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Will California Governor Newsome Institute Capital Controls on His Citizens to Keep Them from Leaving?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 8, 2019:  

California Governor Gavin Newsome is creating a culture that’s driving people away. When will he install capital controls to keep them from leaving?

That’s the final step in creating a totalitarian state: prohibiting people from moving themselves and their assets out of the state.

More than a million Californians have already left the state since 2006, according to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, with many of them choosing Texas for their new home. Many more are considering it.

In a study commissioned by the Los Angeles Times, UC Berkeley asked more than 4,500 registered voters in September two key questions:

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Saudi Arabia’s Aramco IPO Fraught With Danger for Investors

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 4, 2019:  

When Saudi Arabia’s crown jewel, oil producer Aramco (officially called the Saudi Arabian Oil Company), announced on Sunday its “intention to float” some shares in the long-awaited initial offering of shares of the state-owned oil company to the investing public (an IPO, or Initial Public Offering), it triggered two events: a “road show” or “book building” tour by the company to generate enthusiasm among mostly institutional investors for the upcoming offering of shares in December; and the issuing of a “prospectus” outlining the risks entailed by that offering. The prospectus is due out next week.

Investors would do well to read that prospectus very carefully before investing. Though it might not include every risk a new investor would be taking in buying shares when they come to market in December, those risks that will be exposed should provide plenty of reasons to exercise caution before investing.

At the press conference heralding the plan, Aramco Chairman Yasir el-Rumayyan declared:

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Trump Now Florida Resident; de Blasio, Cuomo Say Good Riddance

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 1, 2019: 

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he loves New York, has always loved New York, but has moved his primary residence to Florida:

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, is the place I have come to love and will stay for, hopefully, another 5 years as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, but my family and I will be making Palm Beach, Florida, our Permanent Residence.

 

I cherish New York, and the people of New York, and always will, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state. Few have been treated worse.

 

I hated having to make this decision, but in the end it will be best for all concerned. As President, I will always be there to help New York and the great people of New York. It will always have a special place in my heart!

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted,

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Census Bureau: U.S. Consumer in Excellent Shape Heading Into Holiday Shopping Season

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 25, 2019: 

The latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau puts to rest concerns that the U.S. economy might be heading into recession. It showed not only that the average wage earner is enjoying strong net after-inflation wage gains, but that the vast majority of those gains are being enjoyed by workers in the bottom 80 percent of households. This closes significantly the “income inequality” gap that progressives have been using as a weapon against the president and his economic policies.

After reviewing the report financial author and analyst Aaron Brown called it “very good.” He noted that

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If Harry Dent Is Right, Trickle of Companies Leaving China Will Turn Into a Flood

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 23, 2019: 

Despite President Trump’s urging that companies leave China, backed by tariffs and threats of more tariffs, companies with operations in China have been reluctant to leave. If Harry Dent is correct, the present trickle could turn into a flood.

Dent carved out a niche for himself as an iconoclast when he learned that the Keynesian theories he was taught in college had few answers to how a free economy, left to itself, would solve most of society’s economy problems. He developed the “spending wave” theory that is simplicity itself: consumer spending peaks near age 50, and declines from there. By following the various cohorts through time and predicting their future spending behaviors, Dent made himself famous, if not appreciated.

He recently turned his attention to China:

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Tech Companies Accelerating Their Exodus From China

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 22, 2019: 

In July, CNBC reported that more than 50 companies had moved some, most, or all of their manufacturing facilities out of China in response to President Trump’s tariffs. Combined with rising wages in China, the business environments in Vietnam, India, Korea, and elsewhere in Asia are looking more and more attractive to companies caught in the crossfire.

At the time, personal computer makers HP and Dell were reportedly considering moving up to 30 percent of their notebook production out of China to Southeast Asia. Others, including Apple and Nintendo, are accelerating their plans to exit China in favor of Vietnam and Thailand.

As the pressure of mounting tariffs and increasing Chinese reluctance to strike a comprehensive deal with the Trump administration mounts, Fitbit, Samsung, GoPro, and Crocs are joining the exodus. Ron Kisling, chief financial officer at Fitbit, said,

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Surprise: New York Times Writer Says Rich Don’t Pay Enough Taxes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 16, 2019: 

In his zeal to prove the specter of “income inequality” that has been talked about by every Democrat running for the presidency, New York Times writer David Leonhardt turned out a 1,400-word book report. The book in question, The Triumph of Injustice, written by a couple of left-wing professors at the University of California, Berkeley, claims that, thanks to Trump’s tax policies, the rich pay a lower tax rate on their income than do the rest of us. Wrote Leonhardt,

The overall tax rate on the richest 400 households last year was only 23 percent, meaning that their combined tax payments equaled less than one quarter of their total income….

 

President Trump’s 2017 tax cut helped push the tax rate on the 400 wealthiest households below the rates for almost everyone else.

This is proof positive of the present inequity of the system since the “overall rate was 70 percent in 1950 and 47 percent in 1980.” In other words, in the upside-down world of liberal economic thinking, higher taxes on the wealthy is a good thing, while allowing them to keep more of their wealth for themselves is a bad thing.

Leonhardt added that it’s a class struggle between the “haves” and the “have-nots” of classical Marxist theory:

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CNN Learns There Really Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch After All

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 16, 2019: 

Many readers of science fiction consider Robert Heinlein’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” his finest work. Book Three is entitled TANSTAAFL, perhaps the core of Heinlein’s economic libertarian philosophy. It simply means that one cannot get something for nothing.

It’s a lesson that CNN has been slow to learn.

Two years ago, CNN was delighted to learn that Target was going to increase the minimum wage it was paying its employees: “Target is giving its workers a raise.” It explained that the company would start paying $11 an hour while committing to additional raises over the next few years to $15 an hour by the end of 2020.

Nothing was said at the time about just who was going to be paying for those increased wages.

On Monday, CNN answered that question:

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Reality Check for CNN: Target’s Wage Increase Being Offset by Fewer Hours

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 15, 2019:

Two years ago, CNN was delighted to learn that Target was going to increase the minimum wage it was paying its employees: “Target is giving its workers a raise.” It explained that the company would start paying $11 an hour while committing to additional raises over the next few years to $15 an hour by the end of 2020.

Nothing was said at the time about just who was going to be paying for those increased wages.

On Monday, CNN answered that question:

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Chinese Imports, Exports Drop Further in September While Trade Talks Pause

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 14, 2019: 

China made clear its reticence to do anything more than stall, delay, dither, and otherwise put off any serious discussions on items of real importance in its announcement on Friday. Said the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece People’s Daily: “China’s position of safeguarding the nation’s core interests and the fundamental interests of its people cannot be shaken. On issues of principle it is impossible to engage and impossible to solve the problem by exerting pressure on the Chinese side.”

Translation:

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Rise in Consumer Sentiment Bodes Well for Trump’s Reelection

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 11, 2019: 

Once again, U.S. consumers have surprised forecasters with their resiliency and positive economic outlook. Polls of economists showed them expecting consumer sentiment, according to the Consumer Sentiment Index published by the University of Michigan every month, to drop to 92 in October from September’s 93.2. Instead, consumers’ positive outlook rose to 96.

Forecasters continue to be flummoxed

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Strong Jobs Report Quashes Recession Fears

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 4, 2019: 

Friday’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) confirmed Wednesday’s release from ADP: The U.S. economy remains strong and robust, employing record numbers of Americans and paying them more than ever.

In addition to reporting that the U.S. economy added 136,00 new jobs in September, other key takeaways from the BLS report include:

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None so Blind as Those Who Refuse to See: Seven-Year Car Loans Just Asking for Trouble

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 4, 2019: 

When the average buyer enters a car dealership, there are at least two factors asking for disaster: the dealer makes more money on selling car loans than he does on the car itself; and the buyer is only interested in the payment. Other details, like how long the loan will last, what the interest rate is, what the buyer is actually paying for the car over the life of the loan, or what happens when the car doesn’t last as long as the loan, are overcome by the aphrodisiac of the new car smell.

This writer was once overcome by that aphrodisiac and learned his lesson the hard way: a downturn in the economy forced him to sell the car back to the dealer. After making payments on it for three years, he still had a balance to pay off at the closing.

It’s called the “illusion of affordability” – the idea that

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Seven-year Car Loans: Invitation to Disaster?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 3, 2019:

Longer and longer car loans are creating an illusion of affordability that could lead to disaster in the event of a downturn in the economy. Most new car buyers consider only the monthly payment, not the total amount they will spend on that shiny new SUV or how long those payments will last. When the payments outlast the vehicle, more and more borrowers (nearly a third of them, at last count) roll over the remaining balance into a new loan, creating perpetuity of debt for themselves.

Dealers now make more money selling loans than they do selling the cars themselves. A decade ago, according to J.D. Power, a new car dealer made an average of

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Don’t Listen to Establishment Economists on September Jobs Numbers

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 2, 2109:

Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi never saw a jobs report under the Trump administration that he liked. September was no exception. In a statement accompanying the release of jobs numbers by accounting firm ADP on Wednesday, Zandi said: “Businesses have turned more cautious in their hiring. Small businesses have become especially hesitant. If businesses pull back any further, unemployment will begin to rise.”

During a conference call following the release of the September jobs numbers, Zandi expanded on his disdain:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann