Red Flags

Recent administrations and their media lackeys have been lying to us, non-stop, for most of this century. Economists have used Wal-Mart’s successes as a basis for their asinine prognostications, and the giant container lines have been plowing money into newbuilds like a bunch of drunken sailors.

Port authorities have been touting the expansion of the Panama Canal and have used that project as evidence that millions must be spent by U.S. taxpayers to dredge their ports.

We saw things differently, however, and have been among the few who have been waving a red flag for the last seven or eight years or so. Now, suddenly, a lot of folks are waving the red flag.

Let’s start with Wal-Mart. They’re finally admitting that American consumers are so broke that a severe reduction in demand at their outlets is creating devastating inventory problems for the retailer. The stuff is piling up in Wal-Mart’s warehouses and shelves and the firm has been forced to cut back drastically on orders they’d normally place for the peak season.

And even Maersk is waking up. CEO Soren Skou just admitted that they guessed wrong when they ordered those twenty 18,000-TEUers back in 2011.

“It’s pretty clear that when we look back to the early part of 2011 when these ships were ordered, our view on growth was different than what it turned out to be,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

Do you feel sorry for these guys? Don’t. Save your sympathy for those who really deserve it. Feel some compassion for the unemployed in this country, most of whom must rely on Food Stamps to survive.

According to the Senate Budget Committee, Food Stamp growth is 75 times greater than job creation. “For every person added to the job rolls since January 2009, 75 people were added to the Food Stamp rolls,” the report stated. Since January 2009, a net of 194,000 new jobs have been created. During that same time, 14.7 million have been added to the food stamp rolls. Simply put, the Budget Committee report stated, the President’s policies have not produced jobs

In January 2009, there were 133.56 million Americans with jobs and 31.98 million on food stamps. Now there are 46.88 million on food stamps. Meanwhile, during that same time, our nation’s debt has risen $ 5.63 trillion. Total spending on food stamps is now more than $ 80 billion annually, a fourfold increase from 2001. Total spending on food stamps, public housing, social services and cash aid is now approximately $ 1 trillion. That amount is enough, if converted to cash, to send every household below the Federal poverty line, an annual check of $ 60,000. Over time, the Committee warns, if not reversed, spell economic disaster for the United States and its citizens.

Well, if Maersk and Wal-Mart are heading south, what are our chances? Two. Slim and none.