Stories Chosen For You
When it comes to the United States economy, well, what can I say? I got nothing. I can read, though, and economists say things about economic things that I can read, including Friday’s jobs report. Here’s what Justin Wolfers, University of Michigan professor of economics, said about it:
These revisions suggest payrolls growth has been quite a bit stronger than we realized throughout 2022 and the economy was really motoring along. This is a final nail in the coffin of all the 2022 recessionistas. When average job growth is this high, we call it a BOOM.
Wolfers tweeted this along with a huge table of numbers. Lots of numbers. So many numbers. I don’t know what they mean. I told you. I’m no economist. But if someone like Justin Wolfers, who knows what he’s talking about, says the economy is booming, then, well, who am I to say he’s wrong? BOOM:
Non-farm payrolls added a cracking 517,000 jobs in January, well above market expectations of more than 190,000. This is a breathtaking number. That spike in stories about layoffs? It was about a small unrepresentative slice of the economy. Real America is still getting back to work.
If you’re like me, and you can read about economics, but don’t know much about economics, which means we’re like pretty much every other normal person in the United States, this boom news is good news but also, well, news. Why aren’t newspeople talking about it. They’re newspeople, right?
What they are talking about is recession.
Why are they talking about a recession when the economy is booming, has been booming and will be booming if the likes of Professor of Economics Justin Wolfers are right, and why would they be wrong, is what I’m saying, knowing they know what they’re talking about, and, you know, I don’t?
I do know something about news, though, and here it is: the owners of the country’s most lucrative media properties have more in common with the beneficiaries of the status quo than they do with you on account of their being superlative examples of those who benefit from the status quo.
Point is, the beneficiaries dislike inflation. It makes their planetary fortunes worth less. It makes wages paid to normal people, like you, worth more, which makes their planetary fortunes worth less. Inflation is an economic force, according to the economic thinkers whom I can read, that threatens, if unaddressed, to turn the status quo upside down. And that just won’t do.
So the newspeople, whose salaries are proportional to the levels of entitlement emotionally experienced by the owners of the country’s most lucrative media properties, spend a lot of time talking about prices prices, not wages wages, because it’s better for the beneficiaries of the status quo to maximize attention to the rising cost of eggs, say, but to minimize attention to the rising cost of labor: ie, normal people getting paid more.
If normal people understood the price of eggs is going up along with the price of labor, that could be bad for the beneficiaries of the status quo, because normal people might say see that government spending on the economy in order to create more jobs with better wages is worth it, and maybe doubt what the beneficiaries of the status quo have been saying for years, which is that government spending always leads inflation, which leads to recessions, which leads to normal people losing their jobs.
Normal people might start associating government spending with prosperity, and even demand more of it, instead of what they’ve been doing, which is associating government spending with high inflation, energy shocks, communism and well, anything that’s not unfettered capitalism.
And that just won’t do.
The beneficiaries of the status quo became what they are in part because normal (white) people decided to believe what the beneficiaries of the status quo told them. The decision to believe what they were told ended the period in US history in which the government helped the people and began the current period in which they believed the government hurt the people. If normal (white) people change their minds, what happens then?
Better to maximum pain at the pump.
And minimize hourly wages bumped.
It’s not working, though. The economy keeps adding jobs, raising the price of labor even more. So some of the beneficiaries of the status quo have had to spell out what they truly want. The manager of the world’s largest hedge fund said that to push down prices we must push down labor. According to Bloomberg, Bob Prince said “more layoffs are needed to tackle inflation.”
More layoffs are not needed.
Not when the government is on the people’s side.
Former special assistant to the district attorney, Mark Pomerantz disputes claims that the information he has detailed in his book is of such importance that it could destroy any potential case against former President Donald Trump.
Speaking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday night, Pomerantz said that on all of these issues "the cat is out of the bag." In fact, he added, "those cats have been running all over the place literally for years."
"The legal issue that I've noted in the book is an issue that appears on the face of the statute," he explained. "It's already been written about, was written about before my book has come out. On the financial statement side of the coin, we don't know -- I certainly don't know what investigation is taking place, if any. I don't know whether charges will ultimately be brought. What I do know is that the evidence underlying the charges we intended to bring is already out there in the public record."
He explained that the civil case brought by Attorney General Letitia James filed is well over 200 pages of financial details that have been reported.
It "lays out in abundant detail the assets that were misvalued, the basis for the overvaluation of the assets," said Pomerantz. "That is how she concluded and why she concluded that the assets were overvalued. And the evidence that we were looking at in connection with a potential criminal case has been laid out in chapter and verse in that complaint. And, again, there is nothing in my book about the financial statement investigation that -- the criminal investigation — that we were doing. There are no new facts that don't appear in the attorney general's complaint."
He said that it was important to him, in writing the book, not to interfere with any potential prosecution. After all, he explained, the purpose of the book was to encourage further prosecution he thinks should still be pursued.
At one point, Pomerantz described a woefully inadequate district attorney's office trying to do the work that he thought the federal government should be doing.
Maddow said that what Americans have learned since then is that the Justice Department was putting a lot of pressure on the Southern District of New York not to touch any investigations into Trump. It left the Manhattan DA's office and the New York attorney general as the only ones able to do the investigations. Since, however, the DOJ has been taken over by someone else and it's possible that they could be doing the same kind of investigation that Pomerantz thinks the DA should have been doing all along.
See the full conversation below or at the link here:
Pomerantz 3 www.youtube.com
CNN reported Monday evening that new documents from the U.S. intelligence agencies detail previous China spy balloons under Donald Trump's presidency, which he has denied on his social media account.
According to statements over the weekend, the Trump Pentagon never informed the president or other White House officials about the spy balloons.
An April 2022 report from the U.S. Air Force entitled “People’s Republic of China High-Altitude Balloon” details that the Pentagon found a China spy balloon “circumnavigated the globe” in 2019, which was while Donald Trump was president. According to the report, the balloon floated around 65,000 feet, and “drifted past Hawaii and across Florida before continuing its journey."
That was the same year that a report surfaced out of Tibet that India witnessed a spy balloon over their country.
The documents say, according to CNN, that a spy balloon was “launched and controlled” by China in 2019, which proved to them at the time that they were capable of navigating such a machine across the U.S.
On Sunday, former Trump officials lambasted claims from the Pentagon that three China balloons floated over the U.S. during Trump's administration, saying that they had never heard of such a thing. It was then clarified by the Pentagon that they either weren't told or didn't know about it at the time.
In a briefing Monday, Pentagon officials called it the military's “domain awareness gap.” That's what led to the previous balloons being undetected.
Speaking to MSNBC on Monday afternoon, New York Times Pentagon correspondent Helene Cooper explained that reports about such things in the past had been categorized as UAPs, unidentified aerial phenomena, which is the more media-friendly phrase for UFOs.