John Batchelor writes on his blog:
Crops and cattle have been devastated across Kansas and Missouri, and experts predict there will be up to a 35 percent decrease in total corn crop production this year. Fellow Scripps stations across the Midwest are reporting how their areas have been affected by the drought. In Indianapolis, the tops of berries are literally blistering unable to stand the heat from the sun. If the heat wave continues, it will begin to affect the size, look and taste of local produce. In Checotah, Okla., water pipe lines have burst from the heat.
Dust Bowl of the Mind, 2012
Spoke with Paul Vigna, WSJ; Jim McTague, Barron’s; Gene Countrymen, KNSS’ and Larry Johnson, No Quarter, re the new BLS report on the jobless rate ticking up to 8.3% while the economy added a modest 163,000 jobs mid June to mid July. The market slang for this report on the economy is UNCH.
Nothing has changed in the spiraling sluggishness of the U.S. economy, and will not change at least until next winter. There are always risks to the downside, but no upside is coming to rescue the Gloomy Gus of the election, Candidate Obama.
Mr. Vigna emphasizes the declining job participation rate, in that fewer and fewer people are in the pool that the BLS samples for the unemployment rate. We point to the quote in the Catherine Rampell report in the NYT on the BLS: “In the weakest recovery since the Great Depression,” said Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland, “nearly the entire reduction in unemployment since October 2009 has been accomplished through a significant drop in the percentage of adults participating in the labor force — either working or looking for work.” Larry Johnson restates this case with the facts of the shrinking number of workers employed just from the June report to the July report.
Jim McTague underlines the fun detail that while two football stadia of workers were added in July (plus 163,000), seven football fields of robot computers loaded with algorithms in New Jersey took 45 minutes to destroy the medium-sized market-maker firm Knight Capital with a rogue algorithm that lost $440 million before anyone could stop it.
Gene Countrymen reports from Wichita that the local general aviation manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft, as well as the Bombardier plant, are both posting layoffs; and Hawker is recently sold to a China CP front company looking to push cash out of the Mainland by acquiring assets in the USA. Gene also speaks of the drought that withers the cornfields and dries out the cattle ponds. These conditions are the same as the Great Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and the important differencr is that farmers today till the ground so that the soil is protected from the wind. The Wichita Eagle speaks of several more weeks of withering conditions. Corn and hay prices already high and climbing.
The Great Dust Bowl of the 2012 is in the theater of the mind, as the winds of change blow through Wall Street and Washington; and the puzzle that can only be solved in eighty more years of argument about the Great Recession is who were the Okies, who were the fraudsters, who solved the crisis?
“I was an Eisenhower Republican when I started out at 21, because he promised to get us out of the Korean War,” Clint Eastwood says in an interview. “And over the years, I realized there was a Republican philosophy that I liked. And then they lost it. And libertarians had more of it. Because what I really believe is, let’s spend a little more time leaving everybody alone.”
What About Candidate Obama?
POTUS is one of six people to see the BLS report as of the Thursday August 2 evening; and at 12:02 pm on Friday August 3 the White House issued a glum assessment by Candidate Obama: “…let’s acknowledge we’ve still got too many folks out there who are looking for work.”
The Chicago re-elect is aware that there is no rescue from the jobs reports coming before Election Day. Mitt Romney’s campaign is aware that the daily repetition of the 8.3% jobless number for the next 30 days, through the GOP convention, is all that is needed to make the case for a change. OFA will return quickly to its attacks on Romney as a villainous tax-cheat and clumsy plutocrat; however the campaign is now how it will be for the next 90 days about anything but the frail GDP and cursed joblessness.
What About Candidate Romney?
News of the day for the Romney campaign is perfectly plain. The jobs drought deepens, and the Okies are restless. The fresh breeze is that Clint Eastwood takes the stage with the candidate and pledges support. Mr. “Do I feel lucky?” is not the most vigorous of celebrities, but he does have a fan base that is passionately certain.