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Behind The Dow’s High

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

The Dow hit a record high. What’s behind the jump? And what’s the big picture economic message?

Trader Peter Tuchman smiles as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, March 5, 2013. (AP)

Trader Peter Tuchman smiles as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, March 5, 2013. (AP)

Yowza, yowza.  The headlines are big and splashy:  The Dow has roared back.  Twice this week, it’s topped old record highs going back to ‘oh-seven’ –in the days just before the Great Recession.

After all the dire sequester warnings, it’s a good omen, right?  Can we dare hope that if stock market investors are feeling good, something good is finally happening to our economy?

Are the jobs coming back?  Will our 401ks start growing like fatted calves?  Well, life isn’t simple and neither is the economy.

This hour, On Point:  We talk markets, the economy and hopes for the future.

Guests

Greg Zuckerman, senior writer for the Wall Street Journal. (@gzuckerman)

Trish Regan, anchor on Bloomberg Television and host of Bloomberg’s daily business program, “Street Smart.” (@trish_regan)

Matt Phillips, writes about finance, markets and economics for Quartz. (@matthewphillips)

From the Reading List

The Washington Post “The benchmark Dow Jones industrial average reached an all-time high Tuesday, underscoring the contrast between corporate America’s rapid recovery since the financial crisis and the rest of the country’s ongoing struggle to regain its footing.”

Time Magazine “The reality is probably much less exciting. ‘Investors should curb their enthusiasm,’ says Mitchell O. Goldberg, president of ClientFirst Strategy. Experts say the Dow’s record high means relatively little in the grand scheme of things. Here are a few reasons why:”

Chicago Tribune “Ric Edelman, a Fairfax, Virginia-based independent financial adviser, said one of his clients called this week and asked him to send $62,500 because he had decided to buy a Porsche. That client, Edelman said, was reluctant even to buy a used Corvette for $10,000 just a few months ago, but he had since realized that his portfolio gains mean he could afford to spring for the car he really wanted.”

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  • Mike_Card

    It’s arithmetic, and nothing more.  An index of 30 companies’ stock prices–mostly companies that don’t make anything or have any relevance to the country’s ‘industry.’  And it has NO adjustment for inflation.

    • J P Fitzsimmons

       But the S&P 500 is also close to its all time high and it is much more representative of U.S. business.

      • Don_B1

        @Mike_Card:disqus @jpf:disqus 

        A short, but good discussion, with interesting comments, took place on NPR’s “Planet Money”:

        http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/03/05/173515767/the-dow-isnt-really-at-a-record-high-and-it-wouldnt-matter-if-it-were

        with:

        “After adjusting for inflation, the Dow was higher in 2000 than it is today. It was also higher in 2007. It would need to rise another 10 percent or so to hit an all time high in real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) terms.
        When reporting on other numbers that change over time, it’s routine to adjust for inflation. So when people talk about wages stagnating for American households, it means that, after you adjust for inflation, the median wage is roughly the same as it was 15 years ago. If you didn’t adjust for inflation, you would say the median wage has risen by more than 40 percent over the past 15 years. But that would be a meaningless statement.”

        • loxmyth

           Y’know, it might be nice if public radio stations actually listened to and learned from each other…

      • Mike_Card

        I agree; but the S&P doesn’t get the same level of respect from the business press.

  • responseTwo

    With all respect to NPR’s hard work and devotion, I am slowly seeing NPR become more and more detached from a large part of the American population. Why not have investigative reporting on how countless millions gain nothing from stock market prosperity? Why do these people in the stock market continually pay much lower taxes than so many other Americans and their gain does nothing for the people who pay much more taxes? If stock market prosperity did what corporate media/politicians claim, we should be floating in job opportunities right now.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      You are 100% on point with your comment.

      Wall Street has become Vegas East adding little to the economy other than volatility, uncertainty and pointless risk. It has prompted predatory and parasitic practices. Someone explain to me the economic justification for and purpose of program trading… Do I hear crickets?

      Wall Street has systematically destroyed the practice of profit sharing with employees. Any semblance of meritocracy has been superseded by ‘share holder’ value and the only shareholders that have any say are the financial elite.

      Wall Street is no longer about building value, rather, it’s all about capturing value. This is an unhealthy situation that is undermining the stability of our civilization and Democracy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        automatic trading makes the people who do it money. thats their justification. lots of companies have stock option programs

        • Don_B1

          The syphon action of the automated “beat the placement of large orders” crowd is acting like a tax to the normal stock buyer, but the “tax” goes to people who do NOT use it to benefit the economy.

          The government needs a financial transaction tax to put that money to better use.

    • Gregg Smith

      Anybody can invest in the stock market.

      • JustEdith

        Anybody can invest in the stock market.  Not true.  1) You have to have disposable income.  Many people do not have any extra money by the end of the month, either for savings or investment.
        2) The intelligent invester knows that they should only invest the amount they can afford to lose because your investment may rise or your investment may fall.  The stock market is NOT for everyone. 

        • Gregg Smith

          I didn’t say it was a good idea but people with no disposable income invest in the stock market every day.

          • JustEdith

            Replied to wrong comment.

          • JustEdith

             Really?  You must mean hedge fund managers who use leverage.  That doesn’t count. 

          • Gregg Smith

            I just mean there is no club. Anyone can participate. Many do and don’t even know it.

          • StilllHere

            Exactly, pension funds, 401(k), profit sharing, Roth, whole life …

        • Don_B1

          As a potentially new viewer of this site, if you stay for a while, you will come to the conclusion that Gregg is a resident troll, regularly making distracting comments, often never explaining them, but trying to pull threads away from the subject of the hour.

          But a chart that shows what it takes in income before there is disposable income for “investing” is here:

          http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-savings-rate-by-income-level-2013-3?nr_email_referer=1&utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Money%20Game%20Chart%20Of%20The%20Day&utm_campaign=Moneygame_COTD_030113

          Now Gregg was probably talking about people whose “pensions” are invested in the stock market. About the only low-income people today with pensions are public workers and that is changing quickly.

        • StilllHere

          No you don’t, you can have it taken out before the government confiscates it.

      • nj_v2

        Anybody can write glib, irrelevant, uselessly short posts.

        • Gregg Smith

          But not as good as you.

          • JustEdith

             Not as well, you mean.

          • Gregg Smith

            See, I told ya’ I’m not as goo… well…. no, good. 

      • StilllHere

        And they do.

    • alsordi

      Just take a look at the millions of people in Venezuela honoring their leader Hugo Chavez.  

      Venezuelan peasants and poor are way more informed and proactive than most people in the US, and despite the elitist propaganda, their lives have been greatly improved, while the people in the US are loosing jobs and their civil rights.

  • StilllHere

    The Fed is trying to exercise a wealth effect to stimulate economic activity.  When the Fed stops printing money, the music may stop.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    If I were a skeptic I’d say there are a handful of people (using inside
    information) manipulating the markets, drawing people in, running the market up,
    then selling just before the next crash. That leaves them with billions while
    the “average” (read unsophisticated) investor holds an empty bag. But that’s
    unlikely to happen because of all the regulations imposed since the last crash.
    Isn’t it?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      yup the big investers profit from the wild swings both up and down

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Sehestedt/100001422999274 Mark Sehestedt

    Why is the DOW the only economic indicator not adjusted for inflation?  If you adjust for inflation, then the DOW is most certainly NOT at a record high.  Not even close.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Last one saw, it’s still 11% off highs adjusted for inflation.

    • Don_B1

      The S&P 500, Russell 2000, Nasdaq-100 and other Market Indices also are not adjusted for inflation.

  • jimino

    Yippee!  We’re almost back to where it was 13 years ago, adjusting for inflation.

    Isn’t it simple supply and demand of too many dollars in the hands of people who can’t possibly spend it all looking for somewhere to put it besides under their mattress?  The “investor class” is flush.  The “middle class” not so much.

    • nj_v2

      In a folder somewhere, i have a clipping of a cartoon dating from the 70s by legendary political cartoonist Bill Mauldin. (Those unfamiliar should look him up.)

      Two scruffy looking guys are sitting on a bench. One is reading a paper with the headline “Dow Jones Up.” He turns to his buddy and says, “Well, I’m Sam Jones, and I’m down.”

      Plus ça change…

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I’ll have to remember the great Bill Mauldin whenever I check the NPR political (two, for balance) cartoon page.

        Sometime between the end of Maudlin and the rise of political cartoons on the internet, satire stopped being a “both sides do it” form of expression.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Hey, didn’t I copyright “There are only so many Learjets and Lamborghinis the rich can buy. They’ve run out of things to spend their money on.” five years ago?

      You’ll be hearing from my lawyer.

  • SickOfTheElites

    What’s behind the Dow’s high?

    The Fed money pump.

    Next.

  • Gregg Smith

    My question is, is it real or is the Fed propping it up? I hear lots of people saying it’s time to get out.

    • loxmyth

       I hear lots of people who don’t understand that “time to get out” means they’re gambling rather than investing… and that this is generally a losing strategy.

      Time to rebalance, perhaps, if you’re too heavily invested in the market or in particular segments thereof. But “getting out” historically is not a winning strategy unless you have far more inside information than most of us can afford to gather.

      • Gregg Smith

        I personally don’t have a dog in the hunt but that’s a good point and good advise. I think the fear is the market is artificially inflated and is eventually bound to correct itself despite the best efforts of the fed.

      • Gregg Smith

        I personally don’t have a dog in the hunt but that’s a good point and good advise. I think the fear is the market is artificially inflated and is eventually bound to correct itself despite the best efforts of the fed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    sell, sell ,sell you can thank me in a few weeks

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Curious as to why do you say that?  Given the size of the national debt, shakiness of the Euro, etc., I have had the same sentiment for a year.  But it seems to have been wrong.  So I am curious as to why you believe that that is the right step to take at this stage in the market rally.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        because it always happens this way and no one can predict the top so best to take profit when things are trending up.

    • loxmyth

       … says a man who has options that will do better if prices go down?

      Trying to time the market is a losing strategy. Anything involving “a few weeks” is a losing strategy. If you aren’t thinking in terms of a few years at the least, you probably don’t belong in the market.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        yes trying to time the market is a losing strategy clearly its very high and time to take profit becuase no one can predict the peak. when you take profit now and in a few weeks the market shitsthebed you can thank me
        personally i am a buy and holder but this is a great time to take profit and diversify

  • nj_v2

    Unencumbered by meaningful oversight, regulation, criminal prosecution for past crimes, or conscience, those who have the resources to access and game the system of legalized gambling that is Wall Street are now doing better. 

    Yes, that should tell us something. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    http://mashable.com/2013/03/02/wealth-inequality/

    More and more are not being invited to the party. And if you sized everyone according to how much money they have in play, the market is really just a few giants, a handful of rats and a kazillion fleas.

  • northeaster17

    I remember when the market hit 14,000 when Bush the 2nd was Prez. It was all over the news. Later that day, by mistake, I was listening to Rush. He was infuriated that the main stream media was not bothering to cover the so called historic news that affirmed the wonders worked by Shrub. We all know how that worked out. I wonder what the pig will say today?

    • SickOfTheElites

      It will be 3 hours about Randy Paul.

      • hennorama

        2013′s first domestic drone attack:  Sen. (Ayn) Rand Paul’s filibuster.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          so does that mean you support domestic drone attacks?

  • J P Fitzsimmons

    One reason not given much attention for the rise in the stock market are stock buy-backs. Over the last 10 years corporations have purchased something over $2 trillion in their own stock. With interest rates at all time lows, a company can drive up its earnings per share very cheaply by borrowing to buy. This of course is a total perversion of stocks which are supposed to be a vehicle for investment in real assets.

  • toc1234

    I love these comments – liberals trying to act like they have been personally injured by the run up in the Dow.  now I realize that the liberal’s raison d’etre is to complain and tell other people what to do but really, this is a stretch…  I mean, before the Dow hit this level (and generated all the faux hoopla) I doubt many liberals had any idea where the Dow was, but here’s Tom’s show and voila – the liberal commentor screams injustice.  pathetic…

    • northeaster17

      If you think this is a liberal show you need to get out more

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I’m always astounded that you think NPR isn’t liberal enough.  

        • SickOfTheElites

          It’s not called National Propaganda Radio for nothing.

          The propaganda comes straight from the criminal elites.

          Please. Liberal.

    • nj_v2

      I love these comments – regressive conservobots trying to act like they understand complex issues but only spew mindless overgeneralizations about “liberals” while pretending to know what the show guests will say before the program even starts. Pathetic…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      “I doubt many liberals had any idea where the Dow was.”

      Keep making an ass out of you and you.

    • StilllHere

      You’re not paying attention, liberals are always screaming injustice, it’s just the subject of their vitriol that changes.

    • loxmyth

       Uhm… There are plenty of liberals who are knowledgable investors. You’re conflating apples and orangutans.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Are we remembering that the DOW is up to what it was before the “great recession” IGNORING inflation? 

    Are we also remembering that the DOW represents the “fortunes” of only 30 companies?

    A bit too much optimism if you ask me.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      But that’s what our press corps told us for much of the last decade: Dow up, corporate profits up, therefore everyone’s doing fine!

      Says more about the media coverage of the economy and how very few have concerned themselves with the Wall St/Main St separation.

      (The exceptions? I have my guesses, others are invited to add theirs here.)

    • loxmyth

       Absolutely.

      1) The Dow is not a meaningful index unless your own investment portfolio mirrors the Dow.

      2) It’s a particularly naive and narrow portfolio, with a sloppily computed index that doesn’t reflect real after-inflation values.

      3) The higher the Dow goes, the less meaningful any given number of points becomes. Marketplace has finally learned to quote things in terms of percentage rather than points; I strongly recommend everyone else do likewise, to get at least *SOME* perspective into the process.

  • SickOfTheElites

    The stock market has nothing at all to do with the real economy.

    • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

       Of course it does. If a shareholder feels wealthier he’s more likely to spend more.  This is similar to the wealth affect on house owners who borrowed against the inflated value of their properties to consume.

      • SickOfTheElites

        The stock market is being driven by high frequency trading and the uber wealthy receiving hundreds of billions from the Fed.. 

        The little guy has fled the stock market.

        • loxmyth

           Depends on what you mean by “little”. The folks who believed the unfounded hype about the stock market, and who didn’t understand the difference between investing and speculating, have fled. Folks who understand that short-term swings are meaningless, and that declines are buying opportunities, have stayed in. (Buy low, sell high, folks — dollar cost averaging is your friend.)

          I’m not a big investor, or at all sophisticated but my returns on a simple mix of indexes over the past two decades — straight through the depression — have been over 10%.

          If you need the money any time soon, it doesn’t belong in the market. If you don’t, a decent diversified set of low-overhead index funds is as good a place as any to put it, and better than many.

          The concept that everyone should be in the market is self-evidently wrong. The concept that small investors don’t is also oversimplified.  But you have to understand that it is a game run by pros, for pros, and trying to either beat the pros or take their advice without understanding it are good ways to lose your shirt.

  • twenty_niner

    Demand for gasoline plunging in a soaring economy?

    • jimino

      Who is saying the economy is soaring?  The balance of the comments I see say the exact opposite, and take the view that the Dow and stock market is not indicative of the health of the economy.

      • twenty_niner

        Agree, I was using irony.

    • StilllHere

      Consider fuel efficiency, telecommuting, cargo via rail, and ethanol.

      • twenty_niner

        Thank you for being civil unlike other liberal wing nuts.

        Net miles driven is down, which generally equates to lower economic activity. In other words, there really hasn’t been much of a recovery.

        • StilllHere

          I agree, but there may also be a behavior change.

    • hennorama

      What a surprise!  The US gasoline demand has declined as the average MPG of new cars sold has risen.  The average for 2012 was 23.8 MPG vs. 20.9 MPG in 2008, an increase of almost 14%.

      DUH.

      What a surprise!  The US gasoline demand has declined as the average price of gasoline has risen.

      DUH.

      This chart a bit outdated, but the correlations are pretty clear.

      http://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2011/4/6/saupload_gasoline_per_capita_sales_vs_price.png

      • twenty_niner

        The average car age is over 10 years, so while new vehicles on the road decrease net demand, it’s only incremental and a very small effect overall.

        The stronger correlation is miles driven vs gasoline demand. Fewer miles driven generally equates to lower economic activity.

        No need for simple-minded insults! Don’t be mad monkey. Be a happy monkey! I recommend a nice banana before your next post.

        • hennorama

          twenty_niner – TY for your response. Either your initial post “Demand for gasoline plunging in a soaring economy?” was intended as sarcasm, or you don’t understand that energy consumption and economic output are not necessarily correleated.

          What did you intend to communicate with the question above? Was it a simple-minded point, or something truly important and surprising?

          Obviously, when fewer people are working, fewer miles are driven, whether those miles are commuting miles or shopping miles. Same thing with gasoline powered commercial vehicles – during economic downturns, business activity declines, as do miles driven. DUH.

          In addition, more vehicles are not gasoline powered, or are powered with multiple energy sources. DUH.

          And, as stated, greater fuel efficiency reduces demand, as do higher prices for gasoline. DUH.

          As to energy consumption not necessarily being correlated with economic activity, I suggest you research electricity consumption in California versus that state’s economic output. I’ll make it easy for you – here’s a site that shows it:

          http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/states/consumption.cfm/state=CA?print

          Here’s another site you, which shows the 12 month moving average of US per capita gasoline consumption peaked in 1990, and had declined by 15% by the middle of 2012.

          http://www.mcoscillator.com/learning_center/weekly_chart/americans_really_are_using_less_gas/

          How has the US economy done since 1990? Has economic output declined?

          • twenty_niner

            Specifically talking about gasoline (not energy in general). Gasoline demand tracks miles driven. What that means is up for debate, but that’s what makes a market. Miles driven peaked in 2007, similar to the Baltic Dry Index, which also peaked around the same time.

            There were plenty of voracious aguments back in 2003-2007 explaining why housing prices were stable and everything was hunky dory. I disagreed then as well and shorted Country Wide aggressively.

          • hennorama

            Make up your mind. Is your point (assuming you have one, that is) about US gasoline consumption in bbl/day, or miles driven AND gasoline consumption, or economic activity, or the cost to transport dry goods, or soemthing else?

            You started off by posting “”Demand for gasoline plunging in a soaring economy?”

            I’ll ask again: What did you intend to communicate with the question above? Was it a simple-minded point, or something truly important and surprising?

          • twenty_niner

            I have to admit you’re pretty fast at putting your keys back in your broken keyboard.

            The show is about a record DOW, which presumes a strong economy.
             
            “Demand for gasoline plunging in a soaring economy?”
             
            with a question mark means that the two trends don’t comport.

          • hennorama

            Wrong. YOU presume “… a record DOW, which presumes a strong economy.” Talk about simple-minded. No one else made that presumption. The Dow and the economy are not necessarily correlated.

            The US economy is NOT soaring, and is not strong. On the other hand, Corporate profits are. Corporate profits ARE correlated to the DOW record.

            You make absurdly conflicting points. You presume the economy is soaring, then disprove your assumption with your data about gasoline consumption and miles driven, which YOU say are correlated to economic activity. You show a decline in both, yet “… presume a strong economy”.

            Please show evidence of “a soaring economy”. You may wish to first define the word “soaring”.

            We had GDP growth of 0.1% in 2012 Q4. Is that what you mean by “soaring”?

          • twenty_niner

            I’m saying the economy is not soaring. It’s called irony.
             
            Maybe this will help:
             
            http://www.rosettastone.com/learn-english

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YMV2HJ2TBKMCN2QRAVI3I2OOGM Jim Jim

    Its no mystery that wealthy people are still very very wealthy

    • Gregg Smith

      They should be punished.

      • jimino

        The idea that they and their income should be taxed at the same rate as a typical worker is “punishment” borders on delusional. 

        • Gregg Smith

          There are tax rates, the percentage of income paid in taxes and entitlements which is paying into something that pays you back. That’s not an income tax. You are conflating all the above to make that claim. The fact is the rich pay the lion’s share.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/YMV2HJ2TBKMCN2QRAVI3I2OOGM Jim Jim

            The rich take the lions share

          • Gregg Smith

            They don’t “take” squat.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/YMV2HJ2TBKMCN2QRAVI3I2OOGM Jim Jim

            Sure they do. Private defense contracts, Big Agriculture Subsidies, Corporate loopholes, All kinds of stuff like that. 

          • Gregg Smith

            Contracts are fee for service. I’m not sure what subsidies you mean unless you mean tax breaks where no money exchanges hands. Ditto loopholes. Letting people keep more of what is theirs is not giving them money.

          • StilllHere

            Unless you believe it’s all the government’s.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/YMV2HJ2TBKMCN2QRAVI3I2OOGM Jim Jim

        They should be taxed at the same rate as everyone else. 

        • loxmyth

           As someone who is now getting about half his income from capital gains: Absolutely. I grant that long-term investment can be productive for the economy — but short-term speculation emphatically is not, so I would argue that it should actually be taxed _higher_ than normal income.

        • Don_B1

          There are good reasons for having a progressive tax system. It basically follows the relative market power of the income earner. Low-income workers have little power (particularly without unions) while big corporation C-level executives game the compensation boards to get high pay and platinum parachutes irrespective of job performance.

          It has been shown that job effort does NOT suffer when top marginal tax rates approach the stratosphere of 80%, which is clearly NOT on the table today. See:

          http://www.voxeu.org/article/taxing-1-why-top-tax-rate-could-be-over-80

  • SickOfTheElites

    Just remember people, Wall Street calls you “THE DUMB MONEY”. As in your money is theirs to take.

    • hennorama

      As Warren Buffet has said ““If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.”

    • loxmyth

       If you don’t take the time to understand the game before sitting down at the table, you _are_ the dumb money.

      If you make bets that put you at higher risk than you can afford, for less return than is needed to justify that risk, you _are_ the dumb money.

      If you’re trying to time the market, you _are_ the dumb money.

      Not everyone belongs in the market. Many do, but only if they understand what they’re getting involved in — and there’s been a heck of a lot more hype than education. Partly because the folks who are already heavily invested in the market — and especially those who are making short-term speculative bets — want new money coming in to drive their investments higher, and so have incentive to deliver that hype.

      It’s a tool. It has sharp edges. Know which end to hold, and know what it can and can’t do reasonably safely. Or find a tool that suits your needs better.

      • SickOfTheElites

        When all of Wall Street is trading on insider information the rest of us ARE the “dumb money.”

        Get real. It’s a criminal enterprise.

        The markets.

        • loxmyth

          Not criminal… but it is a game run by pros, for pros. If you aren’t a pro or willing to spend similar amounts of time and resource,  you have no business speculating in the market.

          Investing for the long term (preferably via low-overhead index funds) is a different matter; there you’re taking advantage of the fact that what they arrange for their own benefit also benefits you.

          Though in fact the market has been mutating into a form that discourages investment. Used to be that what you expected from most stocks was dividends — your share of the profits as a partial owner — and maybe some small amount of growth in the stock’s value over the long run. These days, management is being pressured to produce a quick run-up in the stock’s price at the expense of the company’s sustainability. Unhealthy.

  • hennorama

    What a surprise!  The US stock market has risen along with corporate profits.

    DUH.

    See the chart below.  Using FRED data, we see Corporate Profits After Tax (in blue) and the S&P 500 Index (in red).

    • SickOfTheElites

      Corporations’ stock ALWAYS rises after they lay thousands of people off which they have been doing non-stop for 4 years now.

      • StilllHere

        Corporations always lay people off, but more often than not, especially for the last several years, they hire more than they fire.

  • alsordi

    Clinton repealed Glass Steagall which allows the investment banks to obtain zero percent money from their pals at the Federal Reserve who create it from nothing….  then they invest much of it overseas and gambling in derivatives. 

    Reality can be seen in the rise in the price of gold and even the drop in the dollar.   The stock market like the US economy is a scam to keep the elites even wealthier. 

  • Mike_Card

    Excellent comment re:  all this yammering about “uncertainty.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Markets are doing great.

    The problem is US citizens are becoming largely irrelevant. We’ve never said the economy was doing poorly because the many peasants across the world are poor. With globalization, many more Americans are falling into this category while the middle classes in countries like China and India are exploding.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    with regards to companies refusing to hire and especially companies who mistreat their current employees by forcing them to work extreme and long hours with little or no pay raise,… Just watch out… there will be a seismic shift.

    to the filthy rich and greedy CEO… try to value labour… if you don’t.. there is no regret later. of course you are still well off after you lose your job… but the point is your silly ego will get hurt.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Record High Profits, Record Low Wages. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

  • SickOfTheElites

    Just remember Obama and Congress gave tax breaks for companies to buy automation equipment with record high unemployment.

  • SickOfTheElites

    Companies are not bringing these jobs back without HUGE TAX BREAKS.

    We are PAYING THEM billions to bring jobs back.

    • loxmyth

       If so, we ain’t getting our money’s worth. Frankly, the historical evidence is that government programs really are more effective at creating jobs in a down economy than the market is.

  • Kberg95

    I never got out of the market. I have put my retirement in broad low cost index funds or balanced funds and have ridden the ups and downs and overall, I’ve never made a killing but my returns have been enough that I am confident that I will have a good nest egg when the time comes.  What was it they said, the best year of the stock market in the 1930s was the year after the worse year in the 1930s.

    • loxmyth

       Not only yes, but Hell Yes.

  • SickOfTheElites

    Another lie about Americans not being educated.

    Oh, where does that lead? Where oh where?

    Next they’ll be saying they have to bring in foreigners who are educated.

    Wait, they already have.

    The House passed STEM bringing in foreigners to take jobs from Americans.

  • JBK007

    Irrational exuberance rears it’s head again…..

  • SickOfTheElites

    Man, it’s really hard to listen to these tools of the criminal elite spout their masters’ propaganda.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The biggest fallacy is this concept of “us” as Americans. Those few with the monster share of assets are looking down at you who has relatively nothing and saying “what do you mean, us?”

    • loxmyth

       There are folks in the upper brackets who haven’t succumbed to the “greed is good” mentality. Beware of using too broad a brush.

      But, yeah, there’s definitely an entitlement problem affecting a lot of the rich — who feel entitled to ask what their country can do for them without ever asking what they can do for their country.

  • SickOfTheElites

    Yes destroying our water forever for corporate profits is such a bright spot.

    Shill.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    The Market is Booming, the economy? Not so much. American Citizens should be sweating, nobody sees a pattern here?

  • ElihuJ
  • Joe_Birdbath

    The market is bullish…for sunshiny business pundit gibberish!

  • SickOfTheElites

    Energy independent by 2020?

    LMAO.

    The elites’ shills really think we are stupid as hell.

    But then again…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    funny how the guests are limited to ones feeding at the trough of the status quo

  • SickOfTheElites

    I hope all these shills are fired for lower paid shills.

  • eking01

    The issue is the lack of competition in our economy, all the big corporations have swallowed the little guys and consolidated all the jobs.  We need to break up the big guys and get back to fair market competition.

    • StilllHere

      That makes no sense.  There are more sole proprietorships now than there ever have been. 

      • eking01

        May be where you live but in CT we only have one propane company in our area and I have been waiting 6 weeks for service the big company bought out 2 smaller companies and now we have no choice. The cable companies each have a territory so there is no competition for TV the phone company is ATT and their are no other options for home land lines unless you go with the cable company. All these are quasi public companies and they keep growing so you are forced to only one choice.

        • StilllHere

          Sounds like an opportunity, at least the propane. 

      • nj_v2

        How many sole proprietorships are competing in telecom services? Auto manufacturing? Consumer electronics?

  • SickOfTheElites

    Finally, some truth.

    “What has fueled our growth is debt, not wages.” 

    There you have it.

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      Yup … and if we ever get back to a reasonable degree of heath, THAT’s when we should concentrate on the debt. Ain’t there yet.

      This references an earlier program, one or two weeks ago, the sequestration and “smart” cuts. Tom A was dead on that there’s TONS of low-hanging fruit, particularly at The Pentagon. Instead of negotiating to pick off those, it’s always, “entitlements, entitlements, entitlements”. Again, more wealth redistribution by removing such funds.

      • loxmyth

         Not only yes, but hell yes.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Bubble. Rinse, repeat.

  • SickOfTheElites

    Simple, Corporations expect it to work because they are looking at Asia for their profits.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      In a global outlook, why should any American have any more economically than someone living on the African savannah?

      Corporations have no obligation to maintain our standard of living. They have incentive to take as much as they can get while giving as little back as possible. That’s business.

      • SickOfTheElites

        And the people who they impoverish have an incentive to destroy them.

        That’s survival.

        • StilllHere

          Are you talking about the government and it’s desire for gun control?

      • TheDailyBuzzherd

        The problem there, Oldman, is that much of this corporate “BOOM” is bolstered by public money, in the form of tax breaks and other forms of corporate welfare. For every dollar a state negotiates away to appease these people in a never-ending battle pitting state against state, the more the burden is placed upon taxpayers. Yet we’re supposed to revel in the leveling of the global living standard. I’m all for equity, it makes for a more stable world, but not at my expense. Further, these state bidding wars are just another example of wealth redistribution, and Joe Taxpayer isn’t winning.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

          “leveling” is not the goal here – although “leveling” will be the result. A handful will have everything and everyone else will have nothing, so I guess that’s leveling in way.

  • AaronNM

    The guests are nothing but apologists for the status quo. Contrary to their opinion, the world does involve more than just money. Fracking, for instance, just as with all other fossil fuels, carries a long-term surcharge in terms of local environmental impacts, regional extremes in weather, and global climate change. Are these possibilities even a part of the equations these pundits are considering? What are these corporations going to do when their cheap labor force become climate refugees? What happens when our financial centers along the coasts are battling rising waters, severe storms, and crumbling infrastructure? This conversation is ALL about the money and takes none of the consequences of the myth of perpetual growth as serious or worthy of consideration.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      dont worry they can replace the workers with robots

  • NGoodness

    What a vapid discussion – your guests aren’t even answering caller questions (housing and who’s actually purchasing is important) and the host isn’t holding them to task – not a good show. 

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      Supposedly one of the big players in the housing market is none other than Wall Street itself. We know how this will end …

  • WardCheney

    I was about to write, “I’m sorry but . . .” Never mind that. I’m not sorry. So much of the conversation sounds like b__ls__t to me. I see “a nation of consumers” as legions of slaves to the economic system. I see fracking and energy independence as snake oil. What about climate change?! (Hear that, read that, as a moderate scream.) Consume! Use more energy! This is no plan. This is not a way to live. This is driving blind at 80 mph. Get real.

    • StilllHere

      Fossil fuels are going to be used.  You can’t just flip a light switch.  Maybe you should encourage your legislators to use lease payments, taxes and royalties collected by the government on domestic production to fund programs to switch to alternatives or promote conservation.

  • Bill Bodge

    The main cause of the credit boom was caused by Clinton and Rubenomics.  Trade liberalization with China and a strong dollar policy.  The effect:  Easier and cheaper for US corporations to set up shop in China. Also cheaper for US companies like Walmart and US consumers to buy the products from China.  Next, China uses excess reserves to buy US treasuries to keep interest low and money easy to get.  

    • StilllHere

      With Jack Lew and the new head of OMB being Rubin’s lackeys, we’re doomed.

  • robinbrenner

    Businesses understand the value of productive investment and investment in their own future.  Why on earth can’t they understand, especially during a time when their own profitability has risen, that we as a country need to invest in infrastructure and education.  We wouldn’t have had an interstate highway system had Eisenhower not comprehended the importance of making that investment.  Why is this so difficult to understand?  We’re losing our edge as we devalue concern for our future.  We’ve dumbed down our politics and. in some ways, our economy.  We used to be creative about growth.  There’s too much of a short-term mentality; our political class and the media underscore the “now” by continuing to beat the drum for pullling in our belts and cutting spending. Now’s the time to invest.

    Companies won’t see more customers until those customers have jobs.  My unemployed friends used to be the ones who bought homes, went on vacations, purchased cars, went to restaurants, bought the latest fashions, had the latest gadgets, renovated their spaces, etc.  No job, to them, means not being a consumer. 

    Let’s be patriots and hire one more person!

    Robin Brenner

    • StilllHere

      Well, I was going to hire someone but the government raised tax rates on my business.  Now I just work everyone a little harder and wait to see what happens because it looks like some people want taxes to go up again.  I’m also worried that my customers won’t have enough to spend because their taxes went up and may go up again.  Maybe I should think about becoming a government contractor, the government’s pockets seem to be getting bigger.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        LOL, the old script from 1980 still repeats with taxes near historic lows and the rich and the corporations richer than since 1929. If you’re a one trick pony, you’re a one trick pony.

        Must have been hard times on the middle class in those high tax, high regulation 50s and 60s, right? Oops…those were great times, what could have happened to the voodoo logic?

        Returning to the topic, I’m not sure why the markets are so high. I tend to be in the camp that says they have a life of their own, as opposed to responding to the event du jour, and big swings down are followed by big swings up. So to a large extent we are just seeing the upswing following the bush crash. If you draw the long term trend, we are substantially above it now, and I expect regression to the mean. I can’t say when that will start, but this is not the best point to expect good future returns.

        http://advisorperspectives.com/dshort/charts/valuation/SP-Composite-real-regression-to-trend.gif

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    It’s common knowledge “The Rising Dow” has become meaningless as a means to describe American economic health for so “American” an institution.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    If we were doing the things required to achieve true energy independence it would HURT the markets in the short-term. Why? The same reasons we have refused to move away from Combustible Engines. People will lose their jobs in the short-term. Parts manufacturers will go out of business. Fuel consumption will decrease taking Corporate Profits along for the ride. Why do we keep strangling ourselves until just before blacking out and then loosen our grip? Must be the thrill.

    We could be covering every square inch of roof with the most efficient photovoltaic materials available, converting all freight and Public Transportation to electric, building an adequate energy grid for distribution and storage, constructing wind and tidal generators on a mass scale… How many jobs would these efforts create?

    Let’s just keep telling ourselves we can’t afford to progress as a species, it’s worked out great so far hasn’t it?

    • loxmyth

      Automobiles putting the buggy-whip manufacturers out of business did cost some jobs in the short run…

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      Drew, in a similar vein, look at all the purposeless jobs that would disappear from our fake economy if a Flat Tax ever was enacted. Lots of fat from unnecessary jobs as those, oh, and don’t get me started on lawyers …

    • Gregg Smith

      I heard a report, I think on NPR, about one of the big locomotive industries converting to a 100% natural gas fleet. Caterpillar is manufacturing the trains. This translates into jobs, good high paying jobs. Everything that is transported by trains will have reduced costs. So I disagree, if we were doing the things required to achieve true energy independence it would help the markets.

      • loxmyth

        It should be noted that, as with many natural-gas fleet conversions, that one is driven partly by the same owners having investments in natural gas.

        • Gregg Smith

          If that’s true, I have no problem with it. It’s good for everyone.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Natural Gas is still a finite resource with detrimental effects resulting from mass consumption. More stop-gap as usual.

  • loxmyth

    General comment: On Point’s call-in format is a major failure, as far as I’m concerned. Gathering feedback is a fine idea. Gathering feedback in realtime is a fine idea. Putting random voices on the line who may or may not have any clue and who may or may not express their idea concisely… Not so much. Hate to say it, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if my local station dropped the show in favor of something better focused and better moderated.

    • loxmyth

       (Having said that: On average, Trish does a better job of it than Tom does. It’s very obvious when Tom is actually interested in a topic and has done his homework, versus when he’s covering it only because it’s in the current news and he can’t think of anything better to put on the schedule. At his best, Tom’s great, but too often he seems to be coasting.)

      • nj_v2

        Trish Regan was a panelist, not the host.

        • loxmyth

          Oops — Abject apologies to Ms. Clayson (who was doing a decent job of playing a bad hand).

          The rest remains an adequately accurate summary of my reactions to the program as a whole. Your mileage, and interest rate, and degree of interest, will certainly vary.

  • daverun262

    Regarding the all time highs obtained by the DJIA this week,  all of the excitement is only because these all time highs of this silly index, which should be routine, have been so rare in recent times.  Never before in the history of the index, has there been such a long time period between record highs.  That we have achieved that accomplishment now is what makes it news worthy.  The last time we had a record high in the DJIA before this week was in 2007.  And that was on the heels of no record high between 1999 and 2006.

  • nj_v2

    Another failed attempt at supposed objectivity with a panel of people looking at the situation from inside the beast.

    Apparently unable to think more than a few decades into the future, witness Ms Regan gushing at the prospects of “energy independence” and all the economic activity which might stem from desperately developing [my characterization] the last remaining carbon fuels on the continent.

    Never mind the attendant climate change. Never mind that this would just be yet another bubble. Never mind that resources devoted to fossil fuel exploitation are diverted from refining our infrastructure and developing renewables.

    On Point rarely has guests with adequate depth of experience, knowledge, and vision to put these kinds of transient, localized phenomena (The stock market is up!!) into a broader context.

  • nj_v2

    Disqus fail

  • Harlan Green

    It’s incredible that none of your panelists mentioned the major reason for low jobs formation this morning, as well as consumer incomes.  It is the austerity agenda that even Prez Obama bought into during his first term, and is being fully implemented with the sequester spending cuts.  Add to it outright wage suppression policies that have prevailed since the 1970s to keep wages and salaries increasing less than inflation rate during that time, except for late 1990s. 
    This is basic Econ 101, yet no one is talking about those principles that would clarify the problem, other than Paul Krugman.  The DC political gridlock has prevented any jobs programs that would have repaired infrastructure, improved education, not to speak of funding for R & D. 

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Amen, the DC chorus and the corporate media, including NPR, are in perfect harmony with the policies that redistribute wealth and income to the top. 

      The #1 problem is that so many citizens are so easily duped. Those who desperately need SS and Medicare support pols that support “entitlement reform”, which is class warfare newspeak for “cuts”. Some are so dumb as to fall for the talking point that cutting = “saving”, as in “We’ll save medicare for the kids by cutting their benefits”. Those who need good state universities for their kids support tax cuts that defund them and cause tuition to rise. C’mon, people, the normal skepticism of a 5′th grader is enough to cut through the voodoo econ smoke.

    • StilllHere

      Really, jobs formation isn’t low, there’s just a skills mismatch.  Many jobs are going unfilled, see JOLTs data and Monster survey. 

      • http://dearjobbitch.com/ Dear Job Bitch

        Seriously?  Check out this article from the NYT: Jobs to Fill, Employers Wait for Perfection - http://buff.ly/YdyH0I 

        Is it a skills mismatch or a compensation mismatch, i.e. looking to hire talent on the cheap?  Employers are putting applicants through the wringer, posting jobs and never filling them. I suppose it keeps the HR wonks employed…

    • Gregg Smith

      We will spend $15 billion more than last year and that’s after the sequester. We are spending nearly a quarter of GDP, that’s big money. What austerity?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000659372253 Geoff Grohowski

    What a shallow, sophomoric bunch; the guys in particular. “We’re doing better than any country in the world.” Have they noticed the North countries in Europe? 
    Have they noticed that other economies are successfully shifting to green energy sources, while we are building this wonderful energy boom on horribly dirty, poisonous technologies? Do they have any awareness that global warming impatiently looms in the wings; any idea of it’s impacts?
    Do they they have any idea what the wealth disparities and corruption of our elections by money are doing to this country’s fabric? Where they sit everything is rosy. Just wait.

    • Gregg Smith

      Germany is moving away from nuclear and paying dearly for energy. Denmark is drilling like crazy. Where is the success story?

      • GuestAug27

        Germans are smart.  Paying dearly for energy is good.  You use less of it that way.  Given the polution and climate problems caused by carbon-based energy source, we do want to minimize their use, don’t we?

        • Gregg Smith

          You are right, that is why Obama has advocated high gas prices. I support low energy costs.

          • GuestAug27

            I am a conservative. I support conservation of natural resources to make sure there some left for our kids and their kids. The best way to promote conservation of a commodity is by making it expensive. I guess that makes Obama a conservative. Though wait … he is supposed to be a socialist.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            actually the best way to deal with any commodity is to sell it at the market price. in america the price is artificailly low due to govt subsidies and such

          • GuestAug27

            I agree.  Though it’s not always easy to know the market price. Let’s say 80% of our military budget is used to secure our oil supply.  Is that a subsidy that should be included in the price of gasoline?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            yup. wait a minute i thought we were supposed to get paid back for thse wars from the people we invaded. could cheney have been misleading??!
            better yet would be to make the oil compaines pay for their wars themselves

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          have the germans reduced their energy use ?

          • GuestAug27

            Google is your friend … Energy use per capita:
            USA 7,164
            Germany 4,003

          • StilllHere

            That doesn’t really answer the question.

          • susieque2

             Germany has reduced it’s energy use.  Also, it doesn’t matter how much fuel you find if what you find is something that has to be bought and shoveled or piped into a plant, where it is consumed and then you have to buy more of it.  Natural gas is a short term solution.  The long term solution is the decentralization of the grid and clean (cheap) energy.  The future is in the new engineering going into cheap energy from clean sources.  The “green” sources all have one common factor and that is that the fuel is free.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            have you bought your solar panels yet?

      • ExcellentNews

        What a load of NONSENSE. Germany is paying dearly for bailing out the Greeks and the Italians, not for turning to renewables. Denmark is drilling according to a long-term resource management plan of their North Sea acreage, devised by the government (so that they can stretch their reserves and avoid booms and busts). Most of their energy IS already coming from renewables.

  • JGC

    When I look at the romantic photo above of the smiling trader on the floor of the NYSE, it makes me think of how little REAL trading occurs on the floor there, anymore. 

  • Bruce94

    A possible take-away from today’s show might be Trish Regan’s observation that there is a disconnect between the stock market and the health of the overall economy.  A case can be made that a soaring stock market not only fails to correlate with a strong economy, but also in these circumstances it may be a prelude to further decline to the extent that it reflects increasing concentration of wealth and power.

    For a more substantive look at the implications of the stock market resurgence, I look to Joseph Stiglitz and Robert Reich, whose analysis I find more credible than the happy talk of today’s guests especially Greg Zuckerman who points to the resiliency of states like Texas and Louisiana with some of the worst income and wealth inequality you can find anywhere in the Lower Forty-Eight. 

    “Once you get away from the [East and West] coasts,” Zuckerman asserts, “you begin to see economic resurgence” or words to that effect.  The problem is that roughly two-thirds of the U.S. pop. resides in metropolitan areas found up and down the East and West coasts.  Those are precisely the areas that contain the preponderance of businesses, universities, research facilities, entrepreneurs, venture capital, and jobs that drive the real economy and provide for future growth and increased productivity.

    I don’t think we learn much about sustainable growth or equitable wealth distribution from the machinations of Wall St., the stock market, or the extractive industries thriving in places like Texas where the costs of pollution are passed onto consumers, taxpayers, and future generations, and where multinational corporations reap enormous profits while at the same time collecting huge government subsidies.   

       

    • Kevin B

      No kidding.  I love all this talk about the real estate rebound.   Did we learn NOTHING about the relationship between income and housing prices?   Prices aren’t where they were when the market blew up, but neither are income or unemployment.

  • GuestAug27

    This obsession with economic growth is nonsense. Given the current productivity levels, there is no way we can grow the U.S. (or global) economy fast enough to create a 40-hour/week, decent-paying job for everyone who needs it.

    There is an over-supply of workers (5 billion, that’s 5,000,000,000 working-age people on the planet).  The only sustainable solution to unemployment and declining wages is for everybody to work less.  Time to do what we did with great success in the 1930’s – cut the working hours drastically.

    Demand 24-hour work week, worldwide, now!

  • fixamer

     

    The market is manipulated.    When enough buy in, the wolves will sell
    and crush the regular folks again.   If
    you are not speaking about the need to abandon Free Market Capitalism and a purchased
    government, then you are helping anesthetize the population.   The tools of the propagandist include
    half-truths that deceive, misdirect, lie about cause and effect, incite emotions
    as digressions, and provide enough deception to assure that logic is applied to
    erroneous understanding of cause and effect.  
    We are not far from a world when far less work will be needed to produce
    what we need.  Will the Capitalist then
    decide who eats and who doesn’t?

    Why do you not point out, on the
    hour perhaps, that Free Market Capitalism created great suffering for the
    “have-nots” after WW I, that only the Fair Labor Standards created the middle
    class after WW II, and that Free Market Capitalism has brought the elimination
    of jobs, collapse in tax revenue and hope with its 40 -year’s dominance of
    American policy…

  • fixamer

     

    The market is manipulated.    When enough buy in, the wolves will sell
    and crush the regular folks again.   If
    you are not speaking about the need to abandon Free Market Capitalism and a purchased
    government, then you are helping anesthetize the population.   The tools of the propagandist include
    half-truths that deceive, misdirection, lies about cause and effect, inciting emotions
    as digressions, and providing enough deception to assure that logic is applied to
    erroneous understanding of cause and effect.  
    We are not far from a world when far less work will be needed to produce
    what we need.  Will the Capitalist then
    decide who eats and who doesn’t?

    Why do you not point out, on the
    hour perhaps, that Free Market Capitalism created great suffering for the
    “have-nots” after WW I, that only the Fair Labor Standards created the middle
    class after WW II, and that Free Market Capitalism has brought the elimination
    of jobs, collapse in tax revenue and hope with its 40 -year’s dominance of
    American policy…

  • susieque2

    Let’s look at the economic future from the other end, and from the consumer’s point of view.  I see the future as being a little different from how the guests and host apparently see it.

    First, look at what we’re doing.  We have a slave economy.  The arguments you hear for keeping it sound right out of the deep south ca. 1850.  We consume a lot of things that we don’t need that are produced by people who don’t participate in our economy in any significant way.  We have an upper and lower class and a small middle class.  The upper class uses it’s wealth and power to increase it’s wealth and power.  The lower class loses these as those things become concentrated in the hands of a few.

    There aren’t a lot of good outcomes for this.  one thing that WILL happen is that as people can’t afford to buy new products they will develop a sub economy on the repair of what they have.  Buying good products and repairing them is not a middle class value, yet, but it will become one over the next 20 years.  As the bad products get landfilled, the good ones will start to stand out.  People will begin to understand the difference between good and bad products.  Some will continue to be disposable, but a lot of them won’t.

    On a side note, I am always horrified to hear the whining that goes on when American manufacturers boo-hoo about the untrained workforce that they’re faced with when they want to pay $8 an hour for skilled workers.  Geez.  Really? 

  • http://dearjobbitch.com/ Dear Job Bitch

    I listened to the program yesterday for as long as i could.  But I was driving so I couldn’t throw anything at the radio, as I wanted to.  

    The woman was crowing about how education was going to turn things around. College graduation rates have been rising significantly over the last thirty years, but that hasn’t accomplished squat, just a grossly overeducated and underutilized citizenry. Also, let’s get some refinement on those details relating to stock ownership.  The guy who claimed that 50% of American do apparently thinks that being forced by your employer to invest your 401k and the Rockefellers of the world are the same.

    It was surreal, hearing these “experts” babble jargon and talking points.  Someone should create an OnPoint app that just randomizes pseudo-intellectual responses. Wait, maybe they already did that. : )

  • SocratesChildren

    So,yeah, let’s stop subsidizing oil, charge (carbon tax) for the real cost of using oil (cleaning up the pollutions of oil), and then see which energy source emerges from that market.

  • ExcellentNews

    Thanks to outsourcing, automation, and union-busting, the wealth of corporations and their owners has increased tenfold. For exactly the same reason, the middle class has shriveled and there are not enough quality jobs for everyone. The conservatives and many democrats have chosen to put their head in the sand for the last 20 years and keep the show going with cheap credit.

    These are the fact of the past. But if we the people keep allowing this to continue, we have nobody else to blame but ourselves when we “become competitive” with the shanty-town third world and turn into a banana republic with nuclear weapons.

    What to do? Tax those who squeezed the wealth out of the middle class. Claw it back. Invest it massively into new infrastructure, energy independence (oil, renewables, as long as it is made in the US), R&D. Indict all these CEOs who export jobs and import cheap cr-p from abroad under the provisions of the US Patriot Act, and get them a one-way ticket to China or Kandahar. Same for the bankers who funded them. There are so many things we could do to get America back – if only we had the BALLS.

  • Regular_Listener

    If things are getting better and better, I’m still not seeing it.  Sure, it is better to see rising stock prices than collapsing ones, but my retirement account is still worth less than it was in 2008.  I still know a lot of people who are unemployed, underemployed, or struggling. 

    And one of the commentators – was it the grating voice of Ms. Regan? – said our economy is 70% consumption.  That is not production – not making things, creating things – that is spending. 

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

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Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

 
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

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Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

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