Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Real retail sales continue to be weak

Real retail sales continue to be weak; continue to forecast weakening jobs reports  – by New Deal democrat As usual, retail sales is one of my favorite metrics because it tells us so much about the consumer and, indirectly, the labor market and the total economy. Nominally, retail sales rose 0.6% in August. So did […]

United Auto Workers Go on Strike

The action by the United Auto Workers is part of a burst of labor activism attempting to reverse a decades-long trend. The trend as noted in the following graph. How the Latest Labor Strikes Are Attempting to Reverse Decades-Long Trends, The New York Times, David Leonhardt. (If you are having issues linking to this article […]

Economic tailwind from falling commodity prices has likely ended

The economic tailwind from falling commodity prices has likely ended  – by New Deal democrat [Note: I’ll post on the August retail sales report later today.] Two days ago in my PPI and CPI overview, I wrote; “I am most interested in whether the producer price report tells us that the big decline in commodity prices is […]

Open Thread September 15, 2023, Will Union Auto Workers Strike?

The deep roots of the UAW’s current dissatisfaction share much with those taking labor actions to fight back after decades of rising inequality: The pay of typical workers has lagged far behind more-privileged actors in our economy, and the reason for this growing inequality is an erosion of workers’ leverage and bargaining power in labor markets. Open […]

Falling Auto Worker Wages and Increasing CEO Pay . . .

UAW-automakers negotiations pit falling wages against skyrocketing CEO pay: U.S. auto companies have the means to invest in EVs, pay workers a fair share, and still earn healthy profits | Economic Policy Institute,, Adam S. Hersh. Yet they are not paying Labor it’s overdue fair share of wages. United Auto Workers (UAW) members at […]

Jobless claims up 14.6%, 4-week average up 11.8%, and continuing claims up 29.6%

Initial jobless claims maintain renewed yellow caution flag  – by New Deal democrat Some post-pandemic unresolved seasonality may be affecting the weekly claims figures, as just like last year, they are declining sharply compared with early August. But on a YoY basis, they are not nearly so positive. Initial jobless claims rose 3,000 last week […]

$20 Billion Scam At The Heart Of Medicare Advantage

In May of 2023 The $20 Billion Scam At The Heart Of Medicare Advantage, PNHP, Matthew Cunningham-Cook and Andrew Perez, Lever News, May 2023. Health insurance company Humana enjoyed a banner year in 2022. Humana made $2.8 billion in profits in 2022, while paying out $448 million in dividends to shareholders, and paying more than […]

REACHing” for Equity . . . Moving away from Regressive to Progressive Value-Based Payment

“REACHing” for Equity — Moving from Regressive toward Progressive Value-Based Payment, NEJM, Suhas Gondi, Karen Joynt Maddox, and Rishi K. Wadhera. A pretty good take on Value Based Payment Programs and what are the issues. Keep in mind, who determines what the value is to the patient. What is the rub here. Who ascertains the degree […]

August consumer inflation confirms “Goldilocks” “soft landing” may well be “transitory”

August consumer inflation confirms “Goldilocks” “soft landing” may well be “transitory”  – by New Deal democrat Let me start by quoting from my post yesterday: “As to consumer prices, I am most interested in the relative weights of decelerating shelter increases (which as I have written many times are well-forecasted by the more current home […]

Healthcare Debt Nearly Pushed Them On to the Streets

The article (example) is about one person suffering from an ailment at 19. Hospitalized at an out-of-network facility, the burden of costs for treatment were his responsibility due to insurance denial. A particular issue with commercial healthcare insurance not covering the costs of treatment because you went to the wrong doctor, etc. for care. More […]