Category Archives: Amerca

U.S. National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro Warns Wall Street Globalists: “Stand Down” Or Else…

(TheLastRefuge) The words from Peter Navarro will come as no surprise to any CTH reader who is fully engaged and reviewing the multi-trillion stakes, within the Globalist (Wall St-vs- Nationalist (Main Street) confrontation.

For several decades Wall Street, through lobbying arms such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Tom Donohue), has structurally opposed Main Street economic policy in order to inflate profits and hold power – “The Big Club”. This manipulative intent is really the epicenter of the corruption within the DC swamp.

U.S. National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro discusses how Wall Street bankers and hedge-fund managers are attempting to influence U.S.-China trade talks. He speaks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

This article was built around the following short news clip…

Originally outlined a year ago. At the heart of the professional/political opposition the issue is money; there are trillions at stake.

President Trump’s MAGAnomic trade and foreign policy agenda is jaw-dropping in scale, scope and consequence. There are multiple simultaneous aspects to each policy objective; however, many have been visible for a long time – some even before the election victory in November ’16.

https://theconservativetreehouse.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/trump-tweet-trade-deals-waiting-me-out-2.jpg?w=625

If we get too far in the weeds the larger picture is lost. CTH objective is to continue pointing focus toward the larger horizon, and then at specific inflection points to dive into the topic and explain how each moment is connected to the larger strategy.

If you understand the basic elements behind the new dimension in American economics, you already understand how three decades of DC legislative and regulatory policy was structured to benefit Wall Street and not Main Street. The intentional shift in fiscal policy is what created the distance between two entirely divergent economic engines.

https://theconservativetreehouse.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/lobbyist-1.jpg?w=293&h=195

REMEMBER […] there had to be a point where the value of the second economy (Wall Street) surpassed the value of the first economy (Main Street).

Investments, and the bets therein, needed to expand outside of the USA. hence, globalist investing.

However, a second more consequential aspect happened simultaneously. The politicians became more valuable to the Wall Street team than the Main Street team; and Wall Street had deeper pockets because their economy was now larger.

As a consequence Wall Street started funding political candidates and asking for legislation that benefited their interests.

When Main Street was purchasing the legislative influence the outcomes were -generally speaking- beneficial to Main Street, and by direct attachment those outcomes also benefited the average American inside the real economy.

When Wall Street began purchasing the legislative influence, the outcomes therein became beneficial to Wall Street. Those benefits are detached from improving the livelihoods of main street Americans because the benefits are “global”. Global financial interests, multinational investment interests -and corporations therein- became the primary filter through which the DC legislative outcomes were considered.

There is a natural disconnect. (more)

As an outcome of national financial policy blending commercial banking with institutional investment banking something happened on Wall Street that few understand. If we take the time to understand what happened we can understand why the Stock Market grew and what risks exist today as the monetary policy is reversed to benefit Main Street.

https://theconservativetreehouse.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/trump-mnuchin-banks1-e1495162388382.jpg?w=600&h=298

President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin have already begun assembling and delivering a new banking system.

Instead of attempting to put Glass-Stegal regulations back into massive banking systems, the Trump administration is creating a parallel financial system of less-regulated small commercial banks, credit unions and traditional lenders who can operate to the benefit of Main Street without the burdensome regulation of the mega-banks and multinationals. This really is one of the more brilliant solutions to work around a uniquely American economic problem.

♦ When U.S. banks were allowed to merge their investment divisions with their commercial banking operations (the removal of Glass Stegal) something changed on Wall Street.

Companies who are evaluated based on their financial results, profits and losses, remained in their traditional role as traded stocks on the U.S. Stock Market and were evaluated accordingly. However, over time investment instruments -which are secondary to actual company results- created a sub-set within Wall Street that detached from actual bottom line company results.

The resulting secondary financial market system was essentially ‘investment markets’. Both ordinary company stocks and the investment market stocks operate on the same stock exchanges. But the underlying valuation is tied to entirely different metrics.

Financial products were developed (as investment instruments) that are essentially wagers or bets on the outcomes of actual companies traded on Wall Street. Those bets/wagers form the hedge markets and are [essentially] people trading on expectations of performance. The “derivatives market” is the ‘betting system’.

♦Ford Motor Company (only chosen as a commonly known entity) has a stock valuation based on their actual company performance in the market of manufacturing and consumer purchasing of their product. However, there can be thousands of financial instruments wagering on the actual outcome of their performance.

There are two initial bets on these outcomes that form the basis for Hedge-fund activity. Bet ‘A’ that Ford hits a profit number, or bet ‘B’ that they don’t. There are financial instruments created to place each wager. [The wagers form the derivatives] But it doesn’t stop there.

Additionally, more financial products are created that bet on the outcomes of the A/B bets. A secondary financial product might find two sides betting on both A outcome and B outcome.

Party C bets the “A” bet is accurate, and party D bets against the A bet. Party E bets the “B” bet is accurate, and party F bets against the B. If it stopped there we would only have six total participants. But it doesn’t stop there, it goes on and on and on…

The outcome of the bets forms the basis for the tenuous investment markets. The important part to understand is that the investment funds are not necessarily attached to the original company stock, they are now attached to the outcome of bet(s). Hence an inherent disconnect is created.

Subsequently, if the actual stock doesn’t meet it’s expected P-n-L outcome (if the company actually doesn’t do well), and if the financial investment was betting against the outcome, the value of the investment actually goes up. The company performance and the investment bets on the outcome of that performance are two entirely different aspects of the stock market. [Hence two metrics.]

♦Understanding the disconnect between an actual company on the stock market, and the bets for and against that company stock, helps to understand what can happen when fiscal policy is geared toward the underlying company (Main Street MAGAnomics), and not toward the bets therein (Investment Class).

The U.S. stock markets’ overall value can increase with Main Street policy, and yet the investment class can simultaneously decrease in value even though the company(ies) in the stock market is/are doing better. This detachment is critical to understand because the ‘real economy’ is based on the company, the ‘paper economy’ is based on the financial investment instruments betting on the company.

Trillions can be lost in investment instruments, and yet the overall stock market -as valued by company operations/profits- can increase.

Conversely, there are now classes of companies on the U.S. stock exchange that never make a dime in profit, yet the value of the company increases. This dynamic is possible because the financial investment bets are not connected to the bottom line profit. (Examples include Tesla Motors, Amazon and a host of internet stocks like Facebook and Twitter.) It is this investment group of companies that stands to lose the most if/when the underlying system of betting on them stops or slows.

Specifically due to most recent U.S. fiscal policy, modern multinational banks, including all of the investment products therein, are more closely attached to this investment system on Wall Street. It stands to reason they are at greater risk of financial losses overall with a shift in fiscal policy.

That financial and economic risk is the basic reason behind Trump and Mnuchin putting a protective, secondary and parallel, banking system in place for Main Street.

Big multinational banks can suffer big losses from their investments, and yet the Main Street economy can continue growing, and have access to capital, uninterrupted.

Bottom Line: U.S. companies who have actual connection to a growing U.S. economy can succeed; based on the advantages of the new economic environment and MAGA policy, specifically in the areas of manufacturing, trade and the ancillary benefactors.

Meanwhile U.S. investment assets (multinational investment portfolios) that are disconnected from the actual results of those benefiting U.S. companies, and as a consequence also disconnected from the U.S. economic expansion, can simultaneously drop in value even though the U.S. economy is thriving.

https://theconservativetreehouse.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/trump-friends-trade-team-ross-mnuchin-navarro-lighthizer.jpg?w=623&h=1047https://theconservativetreehouse.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/trump-dow-25k.jpg?w=623&h=615

Source: by Sundance | The Conservative Tree House

Advertisements

Americans Are Migrating to Low-Tax States

Cato released author Chris Edwards’ study onTax Reform and Interstate Migration.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/california-exodus-e1521557958581.jpg?itok=fqjbCEqr

The 2017 federal tax law increased the tax pain of living in a high-tax state for millions of people. Will the law induce those folks to flee to lower-tax states?

To find clues, the study looks at recent IRS data and reviews academic studies on interstate migration.

For each state, the study calculated the ratio of domestic in-migration to out-migration for 2016. States losing population have ratios of less than 1.0. States gaining population have ratios of more than 1.0. New York’s ratio is 0.65, meaning for every 100 residents that left, only 65 moved in. Florida’s ratio is 1.45, meaning that 145 households moved in for every 100 that left.

Figure 1 maps the ratios. People are generally moving out of the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West, but they are also leaving California, on net.

People move between states for many reasons, including climate, housing costs, and job opportunities. But when you look at the detailed patterns of movement, it is clear that taxes also play a role.

I divided the country into the 25 highest-tax and 25 lowest-tax states by a measure of household taxes. In 2016, almost 600,000 people moved, on net, from the former to the latter.

People are moving into low-tax New Hampshire and out of Massachusetts. Into low-tax South Dakota and out of its neighbors. Into low-tax Tennessee and out of Kentucky. And into low-tax Florida from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and just about every other high-tax state.

On the West Coast, California is a high-tax state, while Oregon and Washington fall just on the side of the lower-tax states.

Of the 25 highest-tax states, 24 of them had net out-migration in 2016.

Of the 25 lowest-tax states, 17 had net in-migration.

https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/wp-content/uploads/map.png

Source: by Chris Edwards | Cato Institute

Labor Day 2018

The Uncomfortable Hiatus

And so the sun seems to stand still this last day before the resumption of business-as-usual, and whatever remains of labor in this sclerotic republic takes its ease in the ominous late summer heat, and the people across this land marinate in anxious uncertainty. What can be done?

Some kind of epic national restructuring is in the works. It will either happen consciously and deliberately or it will be forced on us by circumstance. One side wants to magically reenact the 1950s; the other wants a Gnostic transhuman utopia. Neither of these is a plausible outcome. Most of the arguments ranging around them are what Jordan Peterson calls “pseudo issues.” Let’s try to take stock of what the real issues might be.

Energy: The shale oil “miracle” was a stunt enabled by supernaturally low interest rates, i.e. Federal Reserve policy. Even The New York Times said so yesterday (The Next Financial Crisis Lurks Underground). For all that, the shale oil producers still couldn’t make money at it. If interest rates go up, the industry will choke on the debt it has already accumulated and lose access to new loans. If the Fed reverses its current course — say, to rescue the stock and bond markets — then the shale oil industry has perhaps three more years before it collapses on a geological basis, maybe less. After that, we’re out of tricks. It will affect everything.

The perceived solution is to run all our stuff on electricity, with the electricity produced by other means than fossil fuels, so-called alt energy. This will only happen on the most limited basis and perhaps not at all. (And it is apart from the question of the decrepit electric grid itself.) What’s required is a political conversation about how we inhabit the landscape, how we do business, and what kind of business we do. The prospect of dismantling suburbia — or at least moving out of it — is evidently unthinkable. But it’s going to happen whether we make plans and policies, or we’re dragged kicking and screaming away from it.

Corporate tyranny: The nation is groaning under despotic corporate rule. The fragility of these operations is moving toward criticality. As with shale oil, they depend largely on dishonest financial legerdemain. They are also threatened by the crack-up of globalism, and its 12,000-mile supply lines, now well underway. Get ready for business at a much smaller scale.

Hard as this sounds, it presents great opportunities for making Americans useful again, that is, giving them something to do, a meaningful place in society, and livelihoods. The implosion of national chain retail is already underway. Amazon is not the answer, because each Amazon sales item requires a separate truck trip to its destination, and that just doesn’t square with our energy predicament. We’ve got to rebuild main street economies and the layers of local and regional distribution that support them. That’s where many jobs and careers are.

Climate change is most immediately affecting farming. 2018 will be a year of bad harvests in many parts of the world. Agri-biz style farming, based on oil-and-gas plus bank loans is a ruinous practice, and will not continue in any case. Can we make choices and policies to promote a return to smaller scale farming with intelligent methods rather than just brute industrial force plus debt? If we don’t, a lot of people will starve to death. By the way, here is the useful work for a large number of citizens currently regarded as unemployable for one reason or another.

Pervasive racketeering rules because we allow it to, especially in education and medicine. Both are self-destructing under the weight of their own money-grubbing schemes. Both are destined to be severely downscaled. A lot of colleges will go out of business. Most college loans will never be paid back (and the derivatives based on them will blow up). We need millions of small farmers more than we need millions of communications majors with a public relations minor. It may be too late for a single-payer medical system. A collapsing oil-based industrial economy means a lack of capital, and fiscal hocus-pocus is just another form of racketeering. Medicine will have to get smaller and less complex and that means local clinic-based health care. Lots of careers there, and that is where things are going, so get ready.

Government over-reach: the leviathan state is too large, too reckless, and too corrupt. Insolvency will eventually reduce its scope and scale. Most immediately, the giant matrix of domestic spying agencies has turned on American citizens. It will resist at all costs being dismantled or even reined in. One task at hand is to prosecute the people in the Department of Justice and the FBI who ran illegal political operations in and around the 2016 election. These are agencies which use their considerable power to destroy the lives of individual citizens. Their officers must answer to grand juries.

As with everything else on the table for debate, the reach and scope of US imperial arrangements has to be reduced. It’s happening already, whether we like it or not, as geopolitical relations shift drastically and the other nations on the planet scramble for survival in a post-industrial world that will be a good deal harsher than the robotic paradise of digitally “creative” economies that the credulous expect. This country has enough to do within its own boundaries to prepare for survival without making extra trouble for itself and other people around the world. As a practical matter, this means close as many overseas bases as possible, as soon as possible.

As we get back to business tomorrow, ask yourself where you stand in the blather-storm of false issues and foolish ideas, in contrast to the things that actually matter.

Source: James Howard Kunstler

America: From Largest Creditor Nation To Largest Debtor Nation In History – What’s Next?

“The Global Bond Curve Just Inverted”: Why JPM thinks a market Crash may be imminent

At the beginning of April, JPMorgan’s Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou pointed out something unexpected: in a time when everyone was stressing out over the upcoming inversion in the Treasury yield curve, the JPM analyst showed that the forward curve for the 1-month US OIS rate, a proxy for the Fed policy rate, had already inverted after the two-year forward point. In other words, while cash instruments had yet to officially invert, the market had already priced this move in.

One way of visualizing this inversion was by charting the front end between the 2-year and 3-year forward points of the 1-month OIS. Here, as JPM showed two months ago, a curve inversion had arisen for the first time during the first week of January, but it only lasted for two days at the time and the curve re-steepened significantly in the beginning of April.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/JPM%203y2y.jpg

Fast forward to today when in a follow up note, Panigirtzoglou highlights that this inversion has gotten worse over the past week following Wednesday’s hawkish FOMC meeting. As shown in the chart below which updates the 1-month OIS rate, the difference between the 3-year and the 2-year forward points has worsened, falling to a new low for the year of -5bp.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/3y2y%20OIS%20rate.jpg?itok=JXNSJoY7

But in an unexpected development – because as a reminder we already knew that the market had priced in an inversion in the short-end of the curve – something remarkable happened last week: the entire global bond curve just inverted for the first time since just before the financial crisis erupted.

As JPM notes, while the Fed’s hawkish move was sufficient to invert the short end further, it was not the only central bank inducing flattening this past week: the ECB also pressed lower on the curve via its “dovish QE end” policy meeting this week. And as a result of this week’s broad-based flattening, the yield curve inversion has spilled over to the long end of the global government bond yield curve also.

In particular, the yield spread between the 7-10 year minus the 1-3 year maturity buckets of our global government bond index (JPM GBI Broad bond index) shifted to negative territory this week for the first time since 2007. This can be seen in Figure 2.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/JPM%20LT%20yield%20curve.jpg?itok=1sQEeAxj

But how is it possible that the global government bond yield curve can be inverted when most developed 2s10s cash curves are still at least a little steep? After all, as seen below, After all, the flattest 2s10s government yield curve is in Japan at +17bp and although the 2s10s US government curve – shown below – has been collapsing, it is still 35bp away from inversion.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/curves.jpg?itok=d9_y1whZ

The answer is in the unequal weighing of US duration in the JPM global bond index: specifically, as Panigirtzoglou explains, the US has a much higher weight in the 1-3 year bucket, around 50%, than in the 7-10 year bucket, where it has a weight of only 25%.

This is because in terms of the relative stocks of government bonds globally, there are a lot more short-dated US government bonds relative to longer-dated ones as the US has lagged other countries in terms of the duration expansion trend that took place over the past ten years.

This is shown in Figure 3 which shows the average duration of various countries’ government bond indices over time. It is very clear that the US has failed to follow other countries in the past decade’s duration expansion race and as a result there are currently a lot more non-US government bonds in longer-dated buckets which are typically lower yielding than the US. And a lot more US government bonds in short-dated buckets which are typically higher yielding.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/duration%20JPM%202.jpg?itok=FTgQsK-7

What are the practical implications? Well, in a word, global investors – those for whom Treasury flows are fungible and have exposure to the entire world’s “safe securities” – now find themselves in inversion.

In other words, with the Fed having pushed the yield on short dated 1-3 year US government bonds to above 2.5%, global bond investors who, by construction, hold more US government bonds in the 1-3 year bucket and more non-US government bonds in the longer-dated buckets, finds themselves with a situation where extending maturities at a global level provides no extra yield compensation.

And the punchline:

This means that while at the local level bond investors are still demanding a premium for longer-dated bonds, at an aggregate level – abstracting from segmentation and currency hedging issues – bond investors globally are no longer demanding such a premium.

Needless to say, although JPM says it anyway, “this is rather unusual as can be seen in Figure 2.”

As for the timing, well it’s troubling to say the least: it did so just before the last two bubbles burst. In fact, the last time the 7-10y minus 1-3y yield spread of JPM’s GBI Broad bond index turned negative was in 2007 ahead of an equity correction and recession at the time. Before then it had turned very negative in late 1990s also, after the 1997/1998 EM crisis but also in 1999 ahead of a burst in the equity bubble and a reversal of Fed policy.

And if that wasn’t enough, here are some especially ominous parting thoughts from the JPM strategist:

In other words, in normal times, bond investors demand a premium to hold longer-dated bonds and to tie their  money for a long period of time vs. investing in lower risk short-dated bonds. But when investors have little confidence in the trajectory of the economy or they think monetary policy tightening is overdone or they see a high risk of a correction in risky markets such as equities, they may prefer to buy longer-dated government bonds as a hedge even though they receive a lower yield than short-dated bonds. This is perhaps why empirical literature found that the slope of the yield curve is such a good predictor of economic slowdowns and/or equity market corrections.

In other words, contrary to all those awed but naive interpretations of the short-term market reaction invoked by Powell or Draghi, according to the market, not only the Fed but the ECB engaged in consecutive policy mistakes. And, as JPM confirms, “this week’s central bank meetings exacerbated this flattening trend.”

As a result the yield curve inversion is no longer confined to the front-end of the US curve, but has also emerged at the longer end of the global government bond yield curve.

What this means is that a decade after the last such inversion, bond investors globally no longer require extra premium for holding longer-dated bonds vs short-dated bonds, something that happens rarely, e.g. when investors have little confidence in the trajectory of the economy, or they think monetary policy tightening is overdone or they see a high risk of a correction in risky markets such as equities.

Source: ZeroHedge

Meet America’s Next Pension Casualty

In 1923, a young Jewish immigrant from a small town in modern-day Ukraine founded a candy company in Brooklyn, New York that he called “Just Born”.

His name was Samuel Bernstein. And if you enjoy chocolate sprinkles or the hard, chocolate coating around ice cream bars, you can thank Bernstein– he invented them.

Nearly 100 years later, the company is still a family-owned business, producing some well-known brands like Peeps and Hot Tamales.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-5a4bf4c5/turbine/mc-1514927295-j8x0k9bt6w-snap-image/950/950x534

But business conditions in the Land of the Free have changed quite dramatically since Samuel Bernstein founded the company in 1923.

The costs to manufacture in the United States are substantial. And business regulations can be outright debilitating.

One of the major challenges facing Just Born these days is its gargantuan, underfunded pension fund.

Like a lot of large businesses, Just Born contributes to a pension fund that pays retirement benefits to its employees.

And in 2015, Just Born’s pension fund was deemed to be in “critical status”, prompting management to negotiate a solution with the employee union.

The union simply demanded that Just Born plug the funding gap, as if the company could merely write a check and make the problem go away.

Management pushed back, explaining that the pension gap could bankrupt the company.

And as an alternative, the company proposed to keep all existing retirees and current employees in the old pension plan, while putting all new employees into a different retirement plan.

It seemed like a reasonable solution that would maintain all the benefits that had been promised to existing employees, while still fixing the company’s long-term financial problem.

But the union refused, and the case went to court.

Two weeks ago the judges ruled… and the union won. Just Born would have no choice but to maintain a pension plan that puts the company at serious risk.

It’s literally textbook insanity. The court (and the union) both want to continue the same pension plan and the same terms… but they expect different results.

It’s as if they think the entire situation will somehow magically fix itself.

Those of us living on Planet Earth can probably figure out what’s coming next.

In a few years the fund will be completely insolvent.

And this company, which employs hundreds upon hundreds of well-paid factory workers in the United States, will probably have to start manufacturing overseas in order to save costs.

Honestly it’s some kind of miracle that Just Born is still producing in the US. The owners could have relocated overseas years ago and pocketed tens of millions of dollars in labor and tax savings.

But they didn’t. You’d think the union would have acknowledged that, and tried to find a way to work WITH the company to benefit everyone in the long-term.

Yet thanks to their idiotic union, these workers are stuck with an insolvent pension fund and zero job security.

Now, here’s the really bizarre part: Just Born contributes to something called a “Multi-Employer Pension Fund”.

In other words, it’s not Just Born’s pension fund. They don’t own it. They don’t manage it. And they’re just one of the several large companies (typically within the candy industry) who contribute to it.

So this raises an important question: WHO manages the pension fund?

Why… the UNION, of course.

The multi-employer pension fund that Just Born contributes to is called the Bakery and Confectionery Union and Industry International Pension Fund.

This is a UNION pension fund. It was founded by the Union. And the President of the Union even serves as chairman of the fund.

This is truly incredible.

So basically the union mismanaged its own pension fund, and then legally forced the company into an unsustainable financial position that could cost all the employees their jobs. It’s genius!

Just Born, of course, is just one of countless other businesses that faces a looming pension shortfall.

General Electric has a pension fund that’s underfunded by a whopping $31 billion.

Bloomberg reported last summer that the biggest corporations in the United States collectively have a $382 billion pension shortfall.

Not to worry, though. The federal government long ago set up an agency called the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation to bail out insolvent pension funds.

(It’s sort of like an FDIC for pension funds.)

Problem is– the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation is itself insolvent and in need of a bailout.

According to the PBGC’s own financial statements, they have a “net financial position” of MINUS $75 billion, and they lost $1.3 billion last year alone.

The federal government isn’t really in a position to help; according to the Treasury Department’s financial statements, Social Security and Medicare have a combined shortfall exceeding $40 TRILLION.

And public pension funds across the 50 states have an estimated combined shortfall of $1.4 TRILLION, according to a 2016 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what’s coming.

Solvent, well-funded pensions and state/national retirement programs are as rare as mythical unicorns.

Nearly all of them have terminal problems and will likely become insolvent (if they’re not already).

The unions are driving their own pensions into the ground; and the government has ZERO bandwidth to bail anyone out, least of all itself.

So if you’re still more than two decades out from retirement, you can forget about any of these programs being there for you as advertised.

Source: ZeroHedge

 

A Majority Of Millennials Blame Baby Boomers For Destroying Their Lives

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/millennials%20teaser.jpg?itok=g7rdJXYJ

Millennials, the largest and most significant generation for the US labor market, came of age in the era of broken central bank policies, leading to the greatest wealth, income and inequality gap in recent history. While baby boomers promised millennials the world through (expensive) college degrees, this generation discovered that massive student loans coupled with a deteriorating work environment had turned them into permanent debt and rent slaves.

And now, according to a new Axios/Survey Monkey poll, millennials are getting angry, and starting to point fingers and cast blame, with a majority accusing baby boomers of not just making things difficult for them, but, of “ruining their lives.”

The survey found 51% of millennials (18 to 34-year-olds) blame baby boomers (51 to 69-year-olds) for making a raft of poor decisions since the 1980s, that have contributed to a weak political and economic environment; only 13% said the boomers made things better. Gen Xers was not satisfied with the pesky boomers, either; as 42% of them have blamed their life’s troubles on the boomers. Most amusingly, upon self-reflection, 30% of boomers agreed that their generation’s policies had made things worse, while only 32% said they had made it better, and 34% answered it made no difference.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen-Shot-2018-04-25-at-3.43.07-PM.png?itok=u4HjKZXa

This new Axios/SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted April 9-13 among 4,638 adults in the United States. The modeled error estimate is 2 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. Crosstabs available here. (Chart: Axios Visuals)

When asked on how to improve today’s economic and political environment, millennials had several modest proposals:

  • “Remove all old government officials and term limits for the House and Congress,” a 34-year-old male Republican said.
  • A number said “Impeach Trump” and “vote.”
  • “Sleep more because you will be less sensitive to negative emotions,” said a 22-year-old female Democrat.
  • Axios also said millennials have little confidence in their fiscal responsibility than boomers: 56 percent of millennials said they are “extremely” or “very” efficient in wealth preservation techniques, compared with 80 percent of those over 70-years old.

While the economy has entered its late-cycle phase, the dangerous rift is growing between the millennials and boomers, each wrestling for a smaller pool of jobs and shrinking government handouts. The inter-generational conflict will only escalate due to the historic accumulation of debt, and unprecedented shifts in demographics and automation, which will only accelerate into the 2020s.

But the punchline is that if Millennials loathe Boomers now when the economy is still doing relatively well thanks to a decade of central planning and trillions in liquidity, one can only imagine how delighted they will be when the next recession, or rather depression, hits.

Source: ZeroHedge

The Cost Of Raising Children In America Is Soaring

Today, roughly one in five women in the U.S. doesn’t have children. Thanks in part to this decline in birthrate, for the first time in U.S. history, there may soon be more elderly people than children.

Based on trends in costs, it’s evident why many families are choosing to have fewer children — or in some cases, no children at all.

The cost of having children in the U.S. has grown exponentially since the 1960s, when the government first started collecting data on childhood expenditures. Between 2000 and 2010, the cost shot up by 40%.

As of 2015, American parents spend, on average, $233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17, not including college. This number covers everything from housing and food to child care and transportation costs. As a mother myself, as well as a sociologist who studies families, I have experienced firsthand the unexpected costs associated with having a child.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-04-24_23-37-57.jpg?itok=q2zwTliV

This spike in costs has broad implications, affecting everything from demographic trends and human capital to family consumption.

Labor and delivery

The overall costs of labor and delivery vary from state to state.

Expenses for a delivery can range from $3,000 to upward of $37,000 per child for a normal vaginal delivery and from $8,000 to $70,000 if a C-section or special care is needed.

These costs are often a result of separate fees charged for each individual treatment. Other factors include hospital ownership, market competitiveness and geographical location.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-04-24_23-37-17.jpg?itok=1VAzWmbK

It’s worth noting that these costs often include additional fees for ultrasounds, blood work or high-risk pregnancies.

As a result, for women who are concerned about the costs related to giving birth, it’s important to explore the average costs at their local hospitals and review their insurance plans before they decide to become pregnant.

Child care and activities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services deems child care affordable if no more than 10% of a family’s income is used for that purpose. However, parents currently spend 9% to 22% of their total annual income on child care, per child.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-04-24_23-39-36.jpg?itok=E8AOxFie

Child care has become one of the most expensive costs that a family bears. In fact, in many cities, child care can cost more than the average rent. This is particularly challenging for low-income families who often don’t make more than minimum wage.

What’s more, over the past century, Americans significantly shifted in the way that we see childhood. Whereas in the past, children often engaged in family labor, now children are protected and nurtured.

Yet children’s activities can be costly. For example, Americans families will spend on average $500 to $1,000 per season on extracurricular or sports activities for each of their children.

In fact, due to the rising costs of sports, the number of children who aren’t physically active has increased to 17.6%. Being physically inactive is even more likely for low-income children, who are three times less likely to participate than children who reside in higher-income households.

Another hidden cost associated with having a child is that of time. In my experience, many parents don’t realize how much time they will invest in their children, often at the cost of personal freedom and work expectations.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-04-24_23-41-16.jpg?itok=ROAmJyJ5

In fact, the American Time Use Survey shows that, on average, parents with children under the age of 18 spend about 1.5 hours a day on domestic and child-care responsibilities. Women spend 2.5 hours a day, while men spend roughly only one hour on these tasks.

Weighing the causes

Researchers at Pew argue that the recent decrease in birthrate has as much to do with the Great Recession in 2008 as it does with the increase of women who are not willing to sacrifice their careers for family.

This speaks to yet another cost of having children: Mothers are often pushed out of careers or “opt out,” based on high demands of balancing family and work-life balance.

Researchers have also found a growing trend of men and women who become single parents by choice. This group of parents prioritize children over marriage and often are on single incomes. That also contributes to the reduction in overall childbirth, from a financial and practical perspective.

Ultimately, the decision to have a child is a personal one. The data show that the burden of costs and the stress of family life are real. Yet despite the costs associated with having a child, many parents report overall satisfaction with their marriage and family life.

Considering the high costs of having of a child, coupled with the tension in balancing family-work life matters, states and companies are starting to invest in family support policies, parental benefits and competitive education. And individuals are creating more innovative approaches to managing family-work balance, such as a reduction in working schedules, family support and a push for more shared responsibilities within the home.

Source: ZeroHedge