Everyone has an all-time favorite movie. Although it may be a difficult selection, the one that has withstood the test of time for me is Casablanca. I first saw it in the late 1960’s as the free movie on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison. Being a financially struggling UW student in the 1960s and 1970s had a few benefits.
If this seems like a strange opening for a financial blog, stay with me. This is being written in response to Friday’s release of the monthly job creation reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). To paraphrase Claude Rains (police chief “Louis” in Casablanca,) people were “Shocked, SHOCKED” to find such great job creation going on here in the USA.
So it goes, it seems, every month of the current Administration, when economic numbers have generally blown away the estimates of the “experts.” These so-called experts seem truly surprised by the numbers, whether for new jobs, unemployment, GDP, Consumer Confidence, etc. Why aren’t these economic and media “know-it-alls” expecting good numbers? Could the explanation be as simple as to say that they are letting their politics get in the way of reality? (That is basically a rhetorical question.)
For decades I have complained that our educational system has excluded several important fundamentals. One of the casualties has been basic economics, which is critical to good decision-making in everyday life. The resulting informational vacuum presents itself in the mainstream media on a consistent basis.
Since the election of 2016, in which an outsider (“non-swamp dweller”) was elected President, the US economy has flourished. Of course, it has! Anyone trained in classical economics understands that cutting taxes, deregulating businesses, and equalizing international trade is a formula for success. The under-educated and politically-biased media simply do not seem to understand. Or, it may be that they simply don’t care to understand.
There is a large segment of American society who seem to stay willfully ignorant. Data and information that doesn’t fit their narrative is ignored if possible, or acknowledged with exaggerated surprise if not.
That needs to change for people who want to be successful investors. Since the preponderance of data and information we receive is incomplete or downright inaccurate, every investor bears his or her own burden of responsibility.
Bringing the point home to investors is really pretty simple. Markets are primarily driven by business conditions in the country. Investors who ignore the facts do so at their own peril. Seasoned citizens probably recognize the current parameters of economic health from prior periods of prosperity, including the Reagan era. Today’s economics, including job creation, should come as no surprise. Politics, meet economics. Investments, meet prosperity.
If President Trump is a fan of Casablanca, he might say, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” America, welcome to escalating prosperity. It surprises us not at all. Always remain skeptical of the motives in the media, and you will be happier and more prosperous. Instead, listen to the Van Wie Financial Hour for a better understanding of why prosperity has returned to the USA.
One final note – How good is it out there? It is so good that the New York Times (no friend of this Administration) actually published this sub-headline regarding the job market; “We Ran Out of Words To Describe How Good It Is.”
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