Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Most and Least Expensive Places to Live in America

The lede:  The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released data on personal income and the cost of living in 2015 for metropolitan areas and the nonmetropolitan parts of states. One of the main indicators the BEA released shows the relative cost of living in different parts of the country.

For example, the New York City metropolitan area had a 2015 RPP of 121.9, which means NYC and its suburbs are about 21.9% more expensive than the national average. Meanwhile, Beckley, West Virginia, had an RPP of 79.7, meaning that goods and services cost just about four-fifths as much as the national average.



Hat tip

No apology tour here.

June Employment Numbers Beat Expectations

The lede:  BLS reported that in June the US added 222K jobs (making a mockery of the ADP print again), beating expectations of 179K, with the May payrolls number revised from 138K to 152K and April revised from 174K to 207K, for a combined revision of the past two months of +47,000 more than previously reported, validating the Fed’s hawkish bias and suggesting that more rate hikes remain on the horizon, even though weaker than expected wage growth could prove to be a potential hurdle to further tightening.

payrolls july_0

But, wage growth disappointed.  Key bit:  However, the clear negative in today’s report is that despite the better than expected job growth, wage growth once again disappointed, with average hourly earnings rising only 0.2% (technically 0.153%), missing expectations of a 0.3% increase, while the May earnings number was revised lower from 0.2% to 0.1%. On a Y/Y basis, avg. hourly earnings rose 2.5%, also missing expectations of a 2.6% increase.

Bonds are selling off again on the news.  The TLT is trading at new July lows but appears to be stabilizing.  Stocks are broadly higher but only moderately so. 

Commodity Returns

Here’s a quick look at commodity performance through the first half of the year:


The long Wheat/short Sugar trade sure worked well. 

Hat tip Charlie Bilello

It’s A Lost Art

Listening.  Does anybody even know how to do it anymore?  Great article on the subject from Dr. Travis Bradberry.  The lede:  

Listening is a bit like intelligence—most everyone thinks they’re above average, even though that’s impossible.

And listening is a skill you want to be great at. A recent study conducted at George Washington University showed that listening can influence up to 40% of a leader’s job performance.

There’s so much talking happening at work that opportunities to listen well abound. We talk to provide feedback, explain instructions, and communicate deadlines. Beyond the spoken words, there’s invaluable information to be deciphered through tone of voice, body language, and what isn’t said.

In other words, failing to keep your ears (and eyes) open could leave you out of the game.

More here, an excellent weekend read.  Enjoy:

Hat tip David Galowich of Vistage Worldwide, Inc.

Jet Stream

Great video at the link below:

This Comes As A Complete Shock

Legal Pot and Car Crashes, Yes There Is a Link

The lede:    Does driving while high have any impact on auto accident rates? Legalized recreational marijuana use in Colorado, Oregon and Washington correlates to about a 3 percent increase in auto collision claim frequencies compared to states without such legislation, according to a new Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study. It’s the first one the group has conducted since the drug went on sale legally.

And It’s Still Not Enough

State and Local Income Taxes Hit Q1 Record

The lede:   Americans paid a first-quarter record of $95,069,000,000 in individual income taxes to state and local governments in 2017, according to data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

That was up $4,190,850,000—or about 4.6 percent– from the $90,878,150,000 in state and local individual income taxes (in constant 2017 dollars) that Americans paid in the first quarter of 2016.

Prior to this year, 2016 held the record for first quarter state and local income tax collections. However, real first quarter state and local income tax collections declined from 2013 to 2014.


As mentioned before, it’s a spending problem, not a taxation problem.

More here from

Socialism Sucks

Great video from the Institute For Economic Affairs:

Some color from Dan Mitchell:   Socialism has a technical definition involving government ownership of the means of production and central planning of the economy.

But most people today think socialism is big government, with business still privately owned but with lots of redistribution and intervention (I’ve argued, for instance, that even Bernie Sanders isn’t a real socialist, and that there are big differences between countries like Sweden, China, and North Korea).

For what it’s worth, that’s actually closer to the technical definition of fascism. But I guess I’m being pedantic by wanting more precision in how terms are used.

Enjoy the video, hat tip Dan Mitchell of International Liberty

Tucker Carlson and Oliver Stone interview

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