Getting A Grip On The U.S. Economy
by Larry Turner

In the normal course of my life, during a national political election year I would be salivating to write about the candidates, especially those on my “must elect” list.

This year, however, the state of our nation is much more complicated than in previous election years so I have chosen to discuss that complication rather than the candidates and hope that our voters decipher their own feelings and beliefs and cast their ballots for those who will pursue the better goals for the country.

The primary basis for the current complication in the issues facing the politicians is the state of the economy vs. the indices that measure that condition. On the one side, there are the market score-cards such as the Dow Jones, the NYSE and the NASDAQ.

At this writing, if you use those standards to judge the state of the economy, you have to conclude that things are rosy across the board.  Not so fast!

Might those results be inflated because of corporate profits being generated by manufacturers of war products like tanks, bombs, munitions, drones, jet fighters, attack vessels that roam the open seas, etc. During “normal” times those profits are insignificant compared to what is being generated in those product areas today.

Not only does the demand for those products skew the results to make the economy appear better than it would otherwise be observed, but it also covers up the negative elements of the economy hiding in the weeds. Consider these realities:

Our country is at war in one way or another with several “evil” countries like Russia, China, Iran, the Palestinians, the Houthis, and others.
Our borders, southern and northern, have been breached by millions, yes millions, of illegal migrants who will displace American workers and cast perhaps controlling votes for certain politicians.
Americans will undoubtedly be asked to help defray the additional governmental costs of housing, feeding and otherwise caring for these new illegal residents to prevent them from acquiring those benefits illegally.
Living costs, such as food and housing, are ridiculously inflated forcing millions of Americans to seek second jobs to afford to remain in the same economic strata they have enjoyed until recently.
The creation of “Sanctuary Cities” has destroyed some of this country’s signature destinations in favor of using our streets to support tent cities and open latrines.
As profits of non-war oriented companies wane and they are forced to pare workforces, the unemployment rate will soar and the GDP will soften like quicksand.

So, the market reports peppering our electronic screens every weekday not only camouflage the realities of the American economy but may well convince some citizens to spend on luxuries at a time when they probably should be securing their assets until the smoke screen lifts and the economic carnage becomes visible and real.

Let’s hope our electorate appreciates this scenario when they insert their ballots into the mail or ballot boxes later this year.