Saturday, June 6, 2015

Pop Quiz: Which Is Most Depressing?

June 6, 2015
Is King Dollar saving the economy? - Larry Kudlow

1. Kudlow capitalizes "King Dollar" as if it is a religious icon worthy of our worship in the title but does not capitalize "saving the economy". Awesome priorities. Not. Damn.

2. JGrumby (in the comments of the article, see below) somehow believes aggregate hours worked are the same as average hours worked and therefore demands that Kudlow write a retraction. Damn.

3. Nobody has yet corrected JGrumby's confusion, but instead have opted to add to it. Damn.

4. In order for me to correct JGrumby's confusion, I would both have to share my email address with CNBC *and* come to Kudlow's defense. Damn.

Those are four very depressing things, but which is the most depressing? Think hard before answering this quiz. The solution is not an easy one, lol. Sigh.

Ah, who am I kidding? There is no wrong answer here. My quiz is based on a theoretical new and improved no child left behind policy. Everyone is a winner if every answer of every multiple choice test is correct! Woohoo!

And just so you don't need to search for it, here is JGrumby's comment:

Don't you have editors who fact-check your statements?

"If you're going to use hourly earnings, you have to add hours worked, which in the aggregate are up more than 2.6 percent over the past year."

That statement is simply false. Average hours worked is unchanged since a year ago (34.5 per week), and has fluctuated between 34.4 and 34.6 for the last 18 months.

Just go to and look up series CES0500000002

Then write a retraction and apologize to those foolish enough to take your word for anything.

Just because aggregate and average both start with the letter "a", they do not mean the same thing. Aggregate is actually a total and average is just an average, as one might expect. Go figure.

Why do I keep reading the comments of financial articles? Why? Maybe I'm the idiot. Seriously. I tend to believe there are no stupid questions, but there seems to be a hell of a lot of stupid statements. So what makes me want to read them? Is this the equivalent of freeway accident rubbernecking?

Or is this simply my way of of preparing for the 2016 elections? You know, build up those defenses lest any campaign promises actually start to sound believable, lol. Sigh.


mab said...

From the link in your post:

Well now. Jeb is certainly on the right track. Let's hope the other candidates follow along. For a million reasons, sound money is crucial to economic growth.

The printing money narrative. The bullsh%t never ends. Talk about depressing.

Larry and Jeb are both clueless. Yet Larry is a respected financial expert and Jeb is a serious presidential contender.

Rob Dawg said...

If you keep looking for logic in economics you are going to be disappointed every time.

Stagflationary Mark said...


For a million reasons...

Damn it! I've been reading the reasons at a rate of one per minute. At this rate it will take me 1.9 years to read them all, and that's if I don't sleep!

The 2016 elections are less than 1.9 years away though! Sounds like an evil plot to stop me from not voting for Bush!

I mean, I'm a big fan of Jeb's stance on the death penalty. I just wish we could change it a bit to be more like life in prison, for the sake of the few innocent death row inmates who probably don't deserve to be murdered by the government. Because that's what it is. Murder.

Perhaps I would feel differently if we could remove all corruption from the system and lived in a world where bribery and framing weren't possible.

Hey. Here's a thought. Perhaps we just need a bit of skin in the game. If it is ever proven that an innocent inmate was wrongfully put to death, then we simply charge the governor of that state with murder and try him or her to help right the wrong. I mean really, no inmate gets put to death without the governor's okay. Right?

Just a thought. For what it is worth, I used to be more tolerant of the death penalty but that's before I started to realize just how much fraud exists.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Rob Dawg,

I do keep looking for logic in economics and I am disappointed every time! Your theory seems sound!

Of course, logic dictates that I only have anecdotal evidence to back your theory so further experiments are required.

Next up... Kudlow believes that King Dollar makes the US more competitive. It seems to me that every other country wants to play competitive devaluation games to make us less competitive. Over the long-term, logic says someone must be full of it.

Rob Dawg said...

It hurts but Kudlow is right in some things. King Dollar literally "papers over" a multitude of sins.

.... until it doesn't. Yuan what I mean?

Stagflationary Mark said...

Rob Dawg,

Yes, I do yuan what you mean!!! Nice. :)

As a consuner, a hefty trade deficit feels awesome at the start but not so good eventually.

Same thing goes for credit card debt, at least for some. I could throw myself quite the party by embracing the allowed debt on my card, but I'd definitely be paying for the hangover.

No thanks. I'll pass. Not a fan of embracing things that may eventually hurt me, be it trade deficits, household debt, cactus, and/or porcupines.

I have no proof that the trade deficit will eventually hurt me of course. I could die before it gets its chance, lol. Sigh.

Right now we're still in the sweet spot. We ship out easily produced dollars and get back harder to manufacture cheap goods. What's not to like in the short-term? (Other than the uneasy feeling that we should not base our long-term decision making solely on the short-term!)

mab said...

If it is ever proven that an innocent inmate was wrongfully put to death, then we simply charge the governor of that state with murder and try him or her to help right the wrong.

That may sound good in theory, but it just doesn't work in practice. In our system, we really can't afford to hold people at the top accountable.

Just think what would happen to our economy if we didn't keep inflating the system for the sake of year end Wall St. bonuses.

As for the trade deficit, those foreigners sure love our dollars. I don't think the love affair ends anytime soon either. Can't say for sure though.

Stagflationary Mark said...


In our system, we really can't afford to hold people at the top accountable.

What if the people at the top were protected inside a shell corporation? Then we could convict the shell corporation for murder instead, execute it, and distribute the shell corporation's life insurance policy proceeds to its shareholders. Because after all, as we all know, corporations are people too.

Justice served. Sort of. In its own semi-symbolic way. If you ask those at the top anyway. Assuming the shell corporations are located in the Cayman Islands. And the insurance premiums are paid by the taxpayers. And include a death penalty rider.

mab said...

Look, all I'm saying is that there is a legitimate reason "they" aren't held accountable and get to "reign" on our parade. It's for our own good. And theirs! But who's keepin score anyway?

Stagflationary Mark said...


Right as reign!

Let them beat cake... out of us!