Monday, January 30, 2017

And So The Trump Term Starts.

The subject was the death of a famed government energy scientist that worked for a national lab.

Did you write this eulogy? No. that was one of our crack science writers. she's written about his research over the last several years. 
Alas, when I used a photo of him receiving a medal from President Obama on our homepage, my boss asked me to remove it, he was concerned about blow-back from DOE.
I had another researcher ask me to remove an item we had posted on him about his work in climate change. Paranoia is running deep.

A imagineary directive with real results. An alternate fact: There is no stinkin climate change and MY DOE better recognize that fact now, or heads will roll.
Posted by Paul Hunter

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Who are The Job Creators?

The near constant propaganda stating that businesses are the creators is in error. If no widgets are demanded no supply will be created. No demand, no jobs in the widget factory or the widget outlet store.

Paul Hunter

Monday, January 23, 2017

Work To Consume Addendum

There are over four million truck, taxi and Uber drivers in the U. S. Who will pay for their sustenance when auto-drivers take over? Neither the Obama administration, the incoming Trump team or the congress appears to have a clue about the oncoming fracturing of the present model. The frustrated working classes are the initial victims of the trend and Trumpism, Brexit, nativism and other populist movements are the result of that frustration.
Recently a friend reassured me that the market system could cope and used the buggy whip to autos example. Problem: Both of those industries were labor intensive and only required a redirection of that labor.

Paul Hunter 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

POTUS Of The People

I have no problem with Trump becoming the recognized POTUS. What I do have a problem with is the description of his election as being the will of the American People (upper case P). The election was carried out as prescribed by the founders and he became POTUS by a majority of the electors but not by the majority of the American People. Ergo the use of the word mandate should be approached with caution.
Paul Hunter 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Real headline: Amazon just launched a cashier-free convenience store.

In its annual report on wages and occupational employment, the BLS found that 3.4 million people worked as cashiers.
Who is going to pay for the food stamps these newly created free loaders will need to buy groceries from stores where they once worked. Not me, says the one percenter, I'm buying a tax cut from my congressperson.
Next up cab and uber drivers.
Paul Hunter

Work To Consume Addendum
There are over four million truck, taxi and Uber drivers in the U. S. Who will pay for their sustenance when auto-drivers take over? Neither the Obama administration, the incoming Trump team or the congress appears to have a clue about the oncoming fracturing of the present model. The frustrated working classes are the initial victims of the trend and Trumpism, Brexit, nativism and other populist movements are the result of that frustration.
Recently a friend reassured me that the market system could cope and used the buggy whip to autos example. Problem: Both of those industries were labor intensive and only required a redirection of that labor.

Paul Hunter 

Monday, January 16, 2017


Possible scenario:
NAFTA is canceled and a 35% tariff is imposed on imported autos, among other products. Who will pay the manufacturing cost increases or the tariff costs that would be the result of such an action. The U.S. consumer, the U.S. worker or the U.S. investor. Who will bear the costs associated with a restart of illegal emigration resulting from a Mexican economic collapse.
Re: “Mexican labor rates, which averaged about $5.50 an hour in 2014, are about a fifth of the wages auto workers earn in the United States, according to the Center for Automotive Research (CAR).
Sean McAlinden, chief economist at CAR, said GM's Orion Township assembly plant in Michigan, which builds Chevrolet and Buick subcompacts, has the lowest labor costs of any U.S. plant thanks to a favorable agreement with the UAW negotiated as part of the U.S. government's bailout of GM in 2009. And yet the Ford Fiesta plant in Cuautitlan, near Mexico City, has a $700 labor cost advantage per car over GM's Orion plant, he said.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reality TV With Sick People

Hit me again Donald!
Ohioans voting against their own and their neighbor's interest.
The top five counties with new medicaid enrollees that were enabled by the expanded Medicaid provisions of the ACA are also the top five counties, including Clinton, that voted for the candidate that vowed to repeal the act. These same statistics apply to other poverty stricken Appalachian counties in Kentucky and West Virginia

Paul Hunter

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Silliest Wall Of All

Headline1989; The German Border Wall Comes Down
Headline 2017?: The U. S. Border Wall Goes UP
Trump has said his wall could cost up to $12 billion. It will be made of precast concrete and reach up to 50 feet. He has said he will force Mexico to pay for the wall by blocking Mexicans who want to send money from the United States back home to Mexico [remittances] from doing so if they don't show documentation proving their legal status.
a. The remittances are not going to Mexico's treasury they are going to Mexican families.
b. Unless remittances to all countries are banned the money will find it's way to Mexican families.
c. Even at the low end cost of $12 billion and if the wall stopped 50 thousand border crossers, the cost per undocumented immigrant would be $240,000 each.
d. The wall would not affect nearly half of all the unauthorized migrants now living in the United States entered the country legally through a port of entry such as an airport or a border crossing point where they were subject to inspection by immigration officials, according to new estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center.
As much as 45% of the total unauthorized migrant population entered the country with visas that allowed them to visit or reside in the U.S. for a limited amount of time. Known as “overstayers,” these migrants became part of the unauthorized population when they remained in the country after their visas had expired.
e. Also from Pew center: More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S.
Net Loss of 140,000 from 2009 to 2014. f. Wall off the 95,000 miles of coast lines? NBC news: While only a small fraction of border arrests are at sea, authorities say, heightened enforcement on land, and a bigger fence, is making the offshore route more attractive.

Paul Hunter

More Campaign Rhetoric?

Who's going to implement Trump's promise to resurrect water boarding torture?
Not me” said the nominees for CIA director, Secretary of State, Homeland Security and Attorney General. They said that they will not resort to the practice.

Paul Hunter

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

CDOs And Swaps Are Comming Back

Be afraid, be very afraid.
The Big Short Expose
I'm probably late to the table but I just finished watching the Wall St. expose movie, The Big Short, on Netflix. All one needs to know to understand this jargon heavy movie is the meaning of CDOs, Credit Default Swaps and bond rating agency.
CDO - A collateralized debt obligation: When ordinary folks buy a home they finance the purchase with a mortgage from a lending institution such as a bank. The bank, in the bad old days, in turn sold that mortgage along with thousands of others that were bundled and sold to Wall St. investment banks as CDO bonds. Banks got their money and the quality of the mortgages were of little importance to them.
Note: 2017 investors are once again clamoring for a risky investment blamed for helping unleash the financial crisis: the synthetic CDO.
Credit Default Swap – basically an insurance policy to protect CDO investors from market losses.
Bond rating agency: A company that assess the creditworthiness of both debt securities and their issuers. In the United States, the three primary bond rating agencies are Standard and Poor's, Moody's and Fitch.
Note: These agencies began a bidding war to obtain market share by overrating many CDOs.
How soon we forget the great heartrending losses of ordinary people's homes and investments as a result of this criminal negligence.
How soon we forget the lessons learned from 2000-2008. Now we hear the GOP dominated congress that the 2010, Dodd-Frank act that tightened the rules governing the financial sector, is under relentless attack. House Republicans, believe the legislation went too far and that its regulations have slowed the recovery.
President-elect Donald Trump has mentioned Dodd-Frank only briefly, saying he wants major changes.
Paul Hunter 

To Wilmington City Council 1.5.17

I rise to help, not fight, city hall.
Doing good is a noble activity but sometimes doing good can be very costly. Taking a bin of recyclables to Hillsboro for example.
If we can do good and create revenue that is a double winner.
Such is the case for cardboard recycling. We do good by saving valuable landfill space, saving finite natural resources while turning a small profit.
We started the city cardboard project with some fanfare but progress has been well below potential and expected growth for reasons that are not clear to me.
I have asked the following relevant questions of the administration, the sanitation superintendent and the solid waste committee chair and to date have received only partial replies or no replies at all.
a. Why is the individual cardboard drop off point at the landfill almost impossible for the casual user to access when an easy option is available ?
b. Following the success of the city building parking lot cardboard dumpster why has an equally lucrative and tested location at the court house lot being ignored.
c. In September we sold 25 tons of cardboard to a poorly equipped buyer from Lebanon for $55 per ton. During that same month a Cincinnati based buyer was driving all the way to Wright Patterson and paying $100 per ton. Why did this happen when the landfill office was aware of the difference?
d. Last summer I was informed that an unnamed company would pay $55 per ton and do all the baling. I have been unable to confirm that offer so I doubt its validity.
e. I have been repeatedly advised that keeping commercial material out of the landfill would cause a $26 per ton loss in landfill revenue. This calculation is inaccurate in several ways. 1St for every ton tipped the landfill has to pay approximately $20 in fees and airspace value. 2Nd There is no loss in revenue from residential contributed material. 3Rd Even at $50 per ton the result is profit and good deeds.
f. If we are to get serious about retrieving the hundreds of tons of material now going into the landfill we need to upgrade our baling system and figure out labor and collection costs.
g. We are, in effect, doing the county solid waste department's work for them and they could easily afford $35 to $40 thousand for a good used horizontal high capacity baler from their $600,000 and growing slush fund.

Other than a suggestion for the city to apply for a baler grant that as far as I know has not been applied for. Talks with the county solid waste director have not been productive. It's time to talk with his county commissioner bosses.
Paul Hunter

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Cliff, Bob and Them

Our Ohio legislature hard at work! Most important legislation of the year? "Ohio Becomes 1st State to Ban Plywood on some Vacant Properties."

In spite of the fact that Ohio has the worst charter school controls Ohio GOP legislators block charter-school sponsor evaluations. The speaker's traveling sponsor Fethullah Gulen must be grateful.

Paul Hunter

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Trade War

Will there be consequences resulting from Trump's meddling in the private business sector's decision making?
Some possibilities:
a. Consumer prices will increase as a result of increased labor costs.
b. Labor income will decline to match international levels.
c. Return to investors will fall if options a or b are not taken.
d. A rapid increase in manufacturing automation to negate the cost of labor.
Foreign manufacturers will cease investing in the U.S. in retaliation to trade restrictions.
U.S. trading partners will erect tariff walls for imported U. S. manufactured and agricultural products.
China will demand payment of our huge debt to them.
A trade war will ensue and we, the consumers, will be the collateral damage.
Paul Hunter

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Another Supply Side Failure

Update 1/7/17 Columbus Dispatch
The latest report on [Ohio] state tax revenue is another sobering reminder that, despite Ohio’s relatively low unemployment rate and a few other positive indicators, the overall economy has struggles.
State income-tax revenue in December came in below the estimate, making it the fifth-straight month that revenue missed its mark. Meanwhile, non-auto sales-tax revenue barely surpassed its projection, the first time it has done so in the first six months of this fiscal year, which began July 1. [2016]
Ohio Governor Kasich and his captive legislature fell for one of the oldest scams in political economics. Reduce taxes and total tax revenue will increase as a result of increasing business activity. Everybody loves a tax cut!
Even by starving local governments and school districts, state revenues haven't kept up with even minimal state budget needs.
From an article from the 1/1 Dayton Daily News: “Kasich warns of a recession” followed by “Ohio's lackluster economic performance”.
In the same edition another indicator of slowing economic conditions is the near zero population growth for the state.
Paul Hunter

One Nation Indivisible

I find it more and more difficult to repeat the phrase “One nation indivisible” from pledge of allegiance.
Nation: a large group of people with strong bonds of identity; a large group or collective of people with common characteristics attributed to them.
Indivisible: unable to be divided or separated.
Tribe: a social division in a traditional society consisting of communities linked by social, economic, religious, with a common culture
I would posit that the United States is divided into three tribes. The poor and undereducated tribe of the deep south; The displaced working class tribe of the rust belt; the academic, creative and progressive tribe of the northwest and northeast.
Paul Hunter contact