Reclaiming Common Sense

This week was a busy week for article writing. That was prior to the joint ally attack on Syria. We cannot allow a madman to gas his own citizens, or allow a madman to gas attack his adversaries.  It was over 70 years ago that a madman sent a a group of people to the gas chamber as part of a quest for the perfect race. His name was Hitler. Now a madman has gassed his own citizens in their own homes. This column deals mostly with economic issues. Its predecessor, and parallel site, has dealt with geopolitical issues. Syria used chemical gas during September of 2013. Then President Obama said that the use of chemical weapons against his own people would "cross a red-line" and that the United States would have to act. September of 2014 that line was crossed and this column published an article "A Just and Judeo-Christian War Against ISIS." Another year passed. Another attack happened. This time it was an ISIS inspired attack in Paris.  Another article was written. "Islamic War: Gulf War III or World War III?" It was not a question of "if" as much as a question of "when." This is President Trump's second response to Bashar Al-Assad. The early reports are that twice as much firepower was used as during his first salvo. Are we in a double or nothing situation? If we are to be a world superpower then when an atrocity happens we have to lead the other democratic counties to stand for what is right.

Last week was all about the ADP Payroll Report and the Jobs Report. This week was follow-up on the Jobs Report, as well as a look at the inflation picture (CPI,) unemployment claims, and two forecast articles. The first forecast article was the March Real Estate Forecast for new construction, new home sales, and existing home sales. The second forecast article was the March MARTS retail sales forecast.

(April 9) The week started with "Five Presidents at 14 months." What has this President done? Has he just ridden the coattails  of President Obama? No. President Trump has added more full-time jobs during his first fourteen months than Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W Bush and Obama did during their first fourteen months. Unemployment is down and participation is up even after massive revisions to the workforce population brought down President Trumps participation rate this January.

(April 9) There was a considerable amount of news regarding wages rising with the release of the January Jobs report. This was supposedly the "trigger' for the early year sell-off in the stock market. Workers have been hoping for wage increases and newscasters have been seeking some sort of wage increase to coincide with an economic recovery. "Shh. Wages are Rising" details how the March to March growth in wages were across the board. Some saw wages of 2% while others saw wages increase by up to 6%.

(April 10) The March Jobs Forecast article anticipated some growth in the multiple job worker data. That didn't happen. "March Multiple Job Workers Step Back" details how the total multiple job worker number, those working a primary full-time job and a secondary part-time job, and those working two part-time jobs did not return to the levels seen during March 2017.

(April 10)  This has been an incomplete recovery. There are eleven super sectors for Current Employment Statistic (CES) Workers. There are ten private sectors and the government sector. You probably didn't hear that "March Worker Data was up in Ten Sectors." Combine increasing workers and increasing wages and you should see an increase in spending.

(April 11) This has been an incomplete recovery for men. There was a considerable amount of attention given to the "War on Women" during the 2012 and 2016 Presidential Elections. Women were the first to recover all of their lost full-time jobs that were lost during the recession during February 2015. Men finally recovered their lost full-time jobs, over ten million, during the Summer of 2016, before losing those gains by January 2017. This month something interesting happened: Men gained full-time jobs and women lost full-time jobs. "Men are Marching Back to Full-time Jobs."

(April 11)  Inflation is Back. Or is it? The Official "All Items" inflation rate was 2.4%. This was higher than what was reported during February. This 2.4% is identical to what was reported for February 2017. Here's the thing: The true all-items inflation was actually 2.8% last March. The true all-items inflation rate was 2.14% this March. "March CPI: Commodity Deflation, Service Inflation" examines the data.

(April 12) The weekly unemployment claims data was ignored once again. "April Unemployment Claims are Still Strong." First-time unemployment claims were lower for the first week of April than they were during the first week of April 1970, 1971, and 1972. While they were higher than the first week of April last year, the data this week, the April 7, 2018 data, was closer to the calendar data date for April 8, 2017. Say that three times fast. Calendar data date. Continuing claims were also low for the fifth and final week of March. They were considerably lower than the levels recorded during the final week of March for 1971, 1972 and all years through and including 2017. Oh, and we have 140 million covered insured compared to 53 million covered insured during March 1971.

(April 13) We will be receiving data on new home construction, new home sales, and existing home sales between April 17th and April 24th. "March 2018 Real Estate Forecast: Momentum" examined the possible outcomes for each of those three reports. New Home Starts, Completions, and Units under construction should exceed last year's levels and should continue to the return to normalcy that was seen prior to the Housing Recession of 2005-2010. New Home sales should pop higher than last March and higher than this February, We should see a new record March Average Sales Price. Existing Homes could surge higher than last year's March level. Inventory, or the lack thereof, could hold back sales. We should set another March existing home average sales price record.

(April 13)  Contrary to the narrative heard elsewhere, we are in a Retail Renaissance, not a Retail Ice Age. Retail sales during 2017 were the highest ever recorded. We just had our best January retail month, non-seasonally adjusted, after having our best January Retail sales month, non-seasonally adjusted. "March MARTS Retail Forecast:  Remarkable" examined the month to month growth and the March to march growth and found that while we could see March to March declines in the Electronic and Appliance Sector, The Clothing and Clothing Accessory Sector, and the Sporting Goods and Hobby Sector, we should see Total growth of 5% to 10% over the March 2017 level. Month to month growth is even more remarkable. Month to month growth should be up for all sectors by double digits. Every sector should be up 11% to 20% over their February Levels. The total growth March 2018 versus March 2017 could be 15%, 16%, 17%, or 18%.

Full-time jobs beget full-time wages. Full-time wages beget full-time retail spending and retail sales. Higher wages, even with lower tax rates, can generate more revenue for the government and reduce the Federal Debt. A strong US economy affords the US Military to be strong.

It's the economy.