By Steve Eggleston

Yesterday, the February jobs report was released. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy added 175,000 jobs, with 162,000 coming in the private sector.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate ticked up by 0.1 percentage points to 6.7% as 264,000 people entered or re-entered the workforce and employment increased by only 42,000. That was not enough to move either the Labor Force Participation Rate or the Employment-Population Ratio from January’s historically-low 63.0% LFPR and 58.8% EPR.

Economists had expected roughly 150,000 jobs added with cold weather affecting the numbers, with those taking the weak economic news from the ADP payroll report and the ISM Services report into account predicting even fewer jobs added. Despite the stronger-than-expected toplines, Reuters didn’t disappoint the weather alarmists, blaming the cold for a drop in the number of hours worked.

Even though the toplines were better than expected, the report itself threw cold water on those who thought it was a great number (emphasis added):

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 175,000 in February. Job growth averaged 189,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

Further, Tom Blumer found the results wanting compared to history. On a seasonally-unadjusted basis, the 750,000 total jobs and 300,000 private-sector jobs represent the worst February since 2010, which was also the last month that there was a loss of jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

The phenomenon of a significant increase in jobs in February is a relatively-recent one, going back only to 1995. This February’s 0.52% increase, while a bit better than the mean average of 0.51% between 1995 and 2013, is in the bottom half of performances and worse than the median of 0.54%.

What isn’t a recent phenomenon is the February-June hiring spree Tom talked about. The number of jobs increased by an average of 2.70% in those months between 1948 and 2013. While the prior 3 years were a bit better than that, if things continue the way they went last month, the economy will be struggling to increase the number of jobs by 2% in that stretch.

I have a long post on the Miriam Weeks Belle Knox business coming up tomorrow but before we get to that 2300 word piece I have a single question to ask her:

Your interview published at Real Clear Education has the following exchange:

Would you still do porn if Duke cost less?

No. If Duke had given me sufficient financial aid, if they had given me the proper resources and made college affordable for my family, I would not have done porn. I would’ve just gotten through college and been fine. The financial burden that Duke put on me was absolutely enormous and insurmountable with the resources that I had.

My question is:  Why would you not?

In your interview you talk about how you like porn, how you enjoy your work and how there is nothing wrong with it as evidenced by the explicit XXX images all over your twitter stream.

You have indicated that you are being paid enough to cover the 47K a year shortfall in your financial aid.  That’s a solid living, more than I was making working a 40 hour a week doing my tech job before HiWired folded in 2008, likely doing so with a lot less hours.

If this is true why would you only choose to take this path because of your college debt at Duke?  If you took the full boat you were offered at Vanderbilt and did this as your part time job you would have nearly $200K banked allowing you to buy a home outright and start with a huge advantage at graduation?

As a person whose son paid 10x I did for the same education at the same college 25 years apart I certainly agree on the ridiculous cost for college (particularly given the return on a woman’s studies major)  but I can’t reconcile your statements on how sex work is entirely acceptable but something you wouldn’t do unless you needed to pay for school.  As Stacy McCain put it:

While Ms. Weeks is willing, behind a pseudonym, to boast of her enjoyment in doing what she is paid to do on camera under another pseudonym, neither she nor the editors of the Chronicle want to assist curious Duke students in discovering what kind of “empowerment” is actually involved: Fellatio, anal sex, lesbian orgies, bisexual threesomes and even the video enactment of violent abusive rape fantasies: “The Bad Decision video is great. She gets choked, slapped, and raped, all of which I obviously approve,” says one reviewer of a Belle Knox video.

After all if Planned Parenthood says this is OK and you can make a good living at it why would you even consider ever doing anything else?

Take your time, I’ve here all week.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Thursday and focusing on the pluses we are only %554 away from our monthly goal and a fully paid mortgage. down from nearly $700 at the start of the week.

Unfortunately with only two days to go we’re going to need $277 a day to make the our goal.

If we start our year (we go feb to Jan) it will be kind of a drag, but with your help we’ll make it.

As I watch the White House with the media behind them in absolute panic over the possibility that the federal government will not agree to go into further debt that we can’t afford I’ve been struck by the attempt to play the market.

Day after day the question on TV is “has the stock market tanked? Will it tank again?”

This need of course comes from the sun continuing to rise and fall without Washington, as Glenn Reynolds at USA today said:

The big lesson of the shutdown is that — in a time when so-called “draconian cuts” usually refer to mere decreases in the rate of growth of spending on programs — America was able to do without all the “non-essential” government workers just fine. (The same AP poll cited above says that 80% have felt no impact from the shutdown; a majority also oppose increasing the debt limit.) Turns out that most of those nonessential workers really are non-essential. And it’s a safe bet that some of those who stayed on the job — like the National Park Service people who chased veterans away from an open-air memorial — could be done without, too, in a pinch. Under the shutdown, new regulations also slowed to a trickle, suggesting that we can do just fine without those, too.

And that is the problem, if the country doesn’t actually need what Washington is selling how does Washington sell how vital it is? How does it scare the public to keep borrowing and feed the pig?

The hope for the Administration is, of course, to cause a panic in the Stock Market believing it will scare the GOP into giving the president, his party and the establishment, what they want, further spending on an unlimited basis.

Unfortunately for the White House, for panic to take place, the money has to be moved away from stocks but if it is where does that investment money go?.

The Euro Zone sill has Greece and bailout issues, the Arab nations are dangerous, China’s economy is built on consumption from elsewhere (including the US), Russia has a declining population and a man on top that can’t be trusted, Japan & South Korea have North Korea as a neighbor, Muslim insurgents are active in southeast Asia etc etc etc…

If you have money in US treasuries are you really going to divest elsewhere? Do you actually think that if the GOP manages to force some degree of fiscal responsibility on the White House your T-Bills will be less valuable? That the US will become a worse risk rather than a better one?

And what about Stocks? Aren’t you investing in business’ based on their own strength or are your investments in companies based on their ability to get taxpayer money, like the green companies that are folding left and right?

When those stocks are sold, are those investors going to take the money home and hide it under a mattress? Or are they going to invest in other companies? Even if one moves to precious metals, don’t those companies exist on the stock exchange? Won’t those companies buy equipment etc? Won’t they bring profit?

The money manager who panics deserves the Financial equivalent of a Darwin Award. I submit and suggest that any such fund manager is somebody who doesn’t belong handling your investments and if you are an investor ready to run based on what’s happening there are millions of Nigerian e-mail spammers just waiting to meet you.

4th Doctor:   Will you disobey me?
Bodyguard:   The Castellan will have me shot, sir.
4th Doctor:   Well, that’s all right. I’ll have him shot.

Doctor Who The Invasion of Time 1978

I too regret but my back is bent I cannot work

Green Lantern 91 The Revenge Of The Renegade! 1976

Take this job and shove it I ain’t working here no more

Johnny Paycheck 1977

As we see stories of WW 2 Vets & Vietnam Vets being ejected from monuments.  Rangers blocking roads to see Mt. Rushmore and people being forcibly removed from their own homes by rangers under orders from this administration a question comes instantly to mind when contemplating the people carrying out the orders to close these open spaces for the glory of The One™ :

“Why are Park Rangers who say they are disgusted with the order to make life difficult for vets  putting up with this?  Why are they doing what they know is dishonorable?”

Part of the answer of course is the culture, those supporting the administration may believe the ends justify the means, but for the rest it puts into sharp relief one of the lies we’ve been told for months by the media.

The lie of a recovering economy.

If the economy was really recovering if it was really producing jobs,  don’t you think some of these rangers would decide it’s just not worth it?  Wouldn’t they say:  “I can do better than this and I’m not muscling a 90-year-old guy who fought at Guadalcanal so POTUS can get a photo-op for the media”

Or are they thinking in the Obama Economy their chances of finding something to make up for their pay & benefits are slim to none and an administration that is willing to audit their enemies will never work again.

Thus is both the heart of Obama & the lie of “recovery” visible for all to see.

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Olimometer 2.52

Like park rangers I know what state the economy is in and I know where I make my living. I pay my mortgage & my bill when my readers decide what I do is worth it and 15 of them kick in $305 weekly to pay the mortgage (and maybe if I’m lucky a few bucks extra for the bills that come with broken thumbs.)

Care to be part of it? Hit DaTipJar below

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I wrote about the Boston Globe being saved from the clutches of those nasty conservatives a few days ago. Red Mass Group expands on why John Henry of the Boston Red Sox is the perfect buyer for the paper:

John Henry on the other hand is a long time Democratic donor and activist. According to his donation records Henry has donated over $1.1M to Democrats and special interest groups, while $1000 went to a lone Republican.

$1,000 Republican
$1,003,250 Democrat
$101,500 special interest
total: $1,105,750

Seemingly the New York Times Corporation may have not fulfilled it’s fiduciary responsibility to get the most money for an asset it was selling. Furthermore, it seems to be based on the politics of the bidders.

The previous high bidder is not taking this sitting down:

“We bid significantly more than Henry,” said John Lynch, the CEO of U-T San Diego, one of the Globe finalists. “At the end of the day, I’m certain our bid was higher and could have been a lot more higher if they had just asked. I’m just stunned. I thought this was a public company that had a fiduciary duty to get the most by its stockholders. … From the beginning, I don’t think they wanted to sell to us.”

Lynch said the Times laid out three qualifiers for the deal: price, capability to close quickly and ability to finance.

“We had the money in the bank, we had the highest price and we rolled over (Friday) and accepted all their terms,” said Lynch.

As recently as 3 p.m. EDT Friday, Lynch said, U-T San Diego had an army of lawyers working to iron out a deal with the Times, and didn’t officially learn it had lost until they received an email at 3:30 a.m. EDT — some two hours after the Globe announced the $70 million deal on Twitter.

Hey what’s elementary economics when there is a neighborhood to protect?

A final thought. The New York Times is the leading proponent of social and economic Liberalism in general and Barack Obama and his economic policies in particular.

If you wonder why democrats in congress and on the White House have been so willing to put their party before the actual economic good of the country then you simply don’t understand liberalism.

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4:52 PM Just heard the Washington Post has been purchased by Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com

In Theory Amazon hasn’t purchased it but in terms of advertising he will basically be paying himself. If he integrates the business and we know Bezos is skilled at this, then again will conservative book buyers decide to spend their money elsewhere if Bezos becomes the liberal angel.

I must admit I have no idea how this will turn out but it’s interesting to note that both the Post and the Globe buyers are successful businessmen who have plenty of money to lose if they wish.

The question becomes are they businessman’s trying to expand to succeed in a new business or Angels who have plenty of money to lose in pushing a viewpoint?

That’s the $64,000 questions or should I say the $250 Million dollar question

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other

Benjamin Franklin

As everyone knows I’m a big advocate of the Free Market. the Market free to make its own decision based on their own self-interest tends to create a stronger economy as all sides do their best to compete for the dollars of the customer base.

That’s why in the latest version of the great Demoulas wars pitting two Demoulas cousins,  Arthur T, vs Arthur S against each other , I would, if on the board of directors vote with Arthur T.

Let’s look at the facts. what is the case for removing Arthur T?:

Arthur S. and his allies have argued in court documents that Arthur T. has mismanaged the company and ignored the authority of its board.

Well if that’s the case the nine shareholders who all happen to be members of the Demoulas family must be doing pretty bad and the 71 stores must be in horrible shape.

documents indicate that Arthur S.’s family has received roughly $500 million in dividends over the past decade

$500 million?  That’s a hell of a chunk of change, but in fairness that’s over ten years, it’s easy to paint a pretty picture when you include the Bush years with the Obama years, how about right now in the worst economy that we have seen in our lifetimes?

In a recent interview, Arthur T. Demoulas said that Market Basket has performed well under his five-year tenure as chief executive, recording net income of $217 million in 2012 on $4 billion in revenue.

Do you mean to say that Arthur T as Chief Executive managed to produce a $217 million dollar profit last year? (over 5%). Can it actually be that during one of the roughest times in our nation Arthur T ran the company at a profit and managed to do so without massive debt?  I’m impressed and apparently I’m not alone:

“First and foremost, if you see what the company has done in the last five or six years, it’s nothing short of remarkable,” said former state Sen. Steven Panagiotakos, whose two daughters work for Market Basket part-time when not in school.

“It’s hard to understand why they’d want to change leadership in the midst of all this success they’re seeing right now,” Panagiotakos added.

Well he must be using an iron hand to wring out these kind of profits I mean the employees must really be exploited

While they were off the clock, Jake Barisano, 19, and Brent Gellerson, 18, rallied for Demoulas with posters, petitioning pages, and current articles on the family feud that has been stirring up recent headlines.

Since Saturday, Market Basket employees have been stationed outside the Somersworth store and as of Monday, 2,500 signatures had been gathered.

Market Basket staffers indicate they will be educating all who will listen until the decision is made this Thursday. Employees claim the removal of their current CEO will change their store, and its motto “more for your dollar.”

What? Well that’s just one store….

yesterday, employees outside Market Basket locations in Haverhill and Londonderry asked customers to sign a petition in support of Arthur T. Demoulas. A similar “Save Market Basket” petition boasts over 35,000 online signatures.

In fact I’ve seen the very same thing at the locations in Fitchburg that I’ve visited.  Every employee I’ve talked to, NON UNION employes mind you, seem to be banding together to support their CEO.

This doesn’t seem to make sense, after all aren’t we constantly told that without unions employes are abused. Why would these people at all these locations be so wiling to go to bat for the rich owner? Why take sides in a family feud? Well in fairness there are millions of reasons:

The protesting shareholders have been especially outraged by a profit-sharing plan that they believe has enriched rank-and-file employees at the expense of the family. Indeed, Arthur T. Demoulas proudly declares that some employees retire with well over $1 million in their profit-sharing plans.

In one telling episode, one of the funds in which the profit-sharing money is invested suffered a $46 million quarterly loss during the 2008 financial meltdown. Arthur T. Demoulas says he insisted that the company immediately make up the loss to his employees’ accounts. That enraged his cousins, who maintained that no investment comes without risk.

That’s a big chuck of change that normally would have been split among the 9 shareholders and they have a point about the normal risks of investments but what did that blip in the bottom line buy the company?

“This company has 25,000 employees working very harmoniously, who are happy,” Arthur T. Demoulas said. “Our customers are happy. Our vendors are happy. Then you have three or four shareholders who are unhappy.”

It would seem to me that if you have a company that is running smoothly, that is making a solid profit and has a loyal customer base and a loyal employee base.  It’s pretty foolish to punish success.

But this company is not mine, it belongs to the shareholders I may have an opinion on the matter but I don’t work there, my sons don’t work there and it’s been almost 30 years since my wife was a cashier there.

So why on earth did I Mr. Free market sign that petition to keep Arthur T on the board?  My own self-interest.

How on earth is preventing a change in control of the company in my self interest?  Well that’s a post for tomorrow.

 

Update:  Fixed repeated paragraph

Update 2: Two notes to local readers, If you see a plump fellow in a Doctor Who Scarf and a hat, odds are it is me, additionally you can find me Saturday’s Noon till 2 EST on the Money Matters Radio network. WBNW, WPLM, WESO. Odds are we will discuss this subject (along with the return of Twinkies 1st hour)

I ran into Marty Lamb former legislative & congressional candidate in Massachusetts and he talked with me about the new upcoming Massachusetts Gas Tax designed to go up every year no matter what.

Remember Massachusetts you are doing this to yourself.

On Friday my first post of the day talked about how the LOW figure of the Obama years that the left considers so draconian was an incredible increase in spending.

At noontime I pointed out that even if you adjust for inflation the low year of the Obama spending years (2010) compared to the low year of the Bush years (2001) represented a 34% increase in real spending.

However a REAL clever person of the left might look at this and say:

“You can’t fool me DaTechGuy, your figures are all before 9/11 and the war on terror, of COURSE the Obama years cost more because you are comparing them to a year where spending didn’t include all those horrible Bush wars.”

It’s a fair cop (and a point I often make myself) and yes I did it deliberately for two reasons.

1. I wanted to compare the low years of each president, and 2001 was the low Bush year

2. It’s a trap for you oh leftists

 

So let’s look at this using a different year, 2005, two wars going on, Bush re-elected and all that jazz. That 2005 spending adjusted for inflation comes up to

$2,874,464,591,191.35

If we compare that adjusted for inflation figure with the smallest Obama spending year EVAH! $3,456 Billion dollars we find it is 83.17% of What Barack Obama spent.

That means Barack Obama in 2010 spent over 20% MORE than George Bush did at the height of two wars in 2005.

Ok all you 18-30 year olds that’s only 8 years ago. You were all alive then. If you were born in 1995 or later you can relate to this.

Are we 20% better off than 2005?
Is your government doing 20% more?
Do we have 20% more roads and bridges?
If the government doing 20% more to help you find work?
Have we managed to do 20% more in all those things?

And yet if we went back to that figure, as far as the president, the Democrat Senate and the MSM is concerned, we would be having cuts so draconian that humanity might not survive.

How stupid do they think we are?  Pretty damn stupid, but the truth is we’re not stupid, just uninformed.

Not anymore.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Monday the $300 paycheck stands waiting to be filled.   Can we fill it today so I won’t have to worry about it on my 25th anniversary tomorrow?

Up to you.

Remember how the great crash and the depression came about after a run on the banks.

Time for history to repeat itself:

Cyprus bail-out: savers will be raided to save euro in future crises, says eurozone chief

Savings accounts in Spain, Italy and other European countries will be raided if needed to preserve Europe’s single currency by propping up failing banks, a senior eurozone official has announced.

This should have several effects.

1. Money invested in the Euro zone banks should flee.

2. With this as an example people with large amounts of cash in banks in countries where there are budget issue2, (which is everywhere) that money will also flee.

3. Precious metals already doing huge should suddenly head toward the stratosphere.

It’s going to get much worse before it gets better, this move confirms it.

Update: Stacy McCain sees it:

Nothing like a debt crisis to spur a run on security, and gold prices — which had lost more than 200 points off the October peak of $1,794 an ounce — have spiked up about $30 in March, as Cyprus has become the latest tip of the Euro-debt iceberg to break the surface.

Yesterday, the “good” news was an EU official saying that deposits in other countries would be raided if necessary to bail out Cyprus. Today, the “good” news is that officials are trying to prevent a run on deposits when banks reopen Thursday in Cyprus:

Hey if you thought Glenn Beck got people to buy gold that’s nothing compared to this.

It has been widely reported that Joe Biden spent $585,000.50 on a one night stay in Paris on Monday Feb 4th.

With Control Towers closing, I would think that it would be a good idea to do what we can to save a few bucks to being a patriotic citizen and coming off my experience at CPAC I thought I’d give the government a hand in saving a buck or two the next time Joe goes to Paris.

And that brings us to Priceline.

As you might know CPAC this year was held at the Gaylord in National Harbor Maryland, the “discount” price for the hotel was $250 a night which was beyond my budget, so I looked for a closer alternative that would be within walking distance (since cab fare would easily eat up a price difference) but within my means.

Using Priceline’s name your own price feature I was able to find a 4 star hotel within walking distance of the Gaylord for under $125 a night!

Having just saved my own trip I thought lets see if we could re-create Joe Biden’s trip at a lower price and save the taxpayer some cash.

First I went to the site of the hotel he stayed at the Le Grand.

I put in Monday Feb 3rd 2014 as the date to get the closest appropriation of a similar stay for 1 night. The room rates varied from $370 for the classic room all the way to $4533.05 for the presidential suite for this five Star Hotel.

The question becomes how many people came with the vice president and how many rooms were necessary, I presume there are not 100 presidential suites in the hotel so lets guess 100 rooms or so. The junior suites go for $842 each so assuming 100 junior suites to house the entire Biden crowd you are talking $90k for the lot including Biden’s presidential suite.

But the job is to find a better price so I went to Priceline. Using their features I was able to restrict my choices to 5 star hotels in the area of Opera & Tuileries quarters and did a search for a single room on that same Fed 3rd date and put the Negotiator to work

shatner at work

After just a few seconds of furious negotiating here is what priceline had to offer:

biden hotel 2

As you can see the VP could have gotten a first-rate hotel room in a five-star hotel for as little as $510 a night, the most expensive price offered was only #1095.

And that’s without bidding. Can you imagine the deal he could have gotten if he named his own price and put the negotiation or his daughter to work for him? He could have saved hundreds of taxpayer dollars. Multiply that by an entourage of 100 or 200 and imagine the cascade of taxpayer dollars that could have been saved ON TOP of the already low prices at Priceline while still getting a 5 star hotel in Paris!

Think of the airplane towers and school tours that could have been saved he VP Biden just gave Bill Shatner a call before he traveled.

Now I’m sure the VP is a busy man so he might not have thought about this. I’m very proud to be able to give him and my country the benefit of my personal experience

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Olimometer 2.52

Well our best week ever was followed by our worst week ever since starting the new “pay the bills” model

however today starts a new week so with 15 people willing to kick in $20 we can get right back on track

And if nothing else it’s a better deal than $500k+ for a hotel room for one night