Unemployment

Mid-terms will be a vote on what to do with the scab of division

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Every time we turn on the news we’re told America has never been so divided. If we listen to the narrative it would seemingly be all President Trump’s fault. The reality would point more towards his brash, vulgar and politically incorrect style catalyzing the removal of a scab covering a festering wound that has not healed for over a decade.

The upcoming midterms will be an interesting read on the underlying mood of the country. It is likely both sides will get out in force like few midterms before it. Normally midterms garner a 40% turnout. It should be much higher in Nov 2018. .

Never has been predicting a result in the midterms been so difficult. CM thinks it swings to the Republicans. Despite that being a total stab in the dark, the recent Kavanaugh confirmation debacle raised some interesting stats according to Rasmussen Reports.

In response to SCJ Brett Kavanaugh’s statement that “This confirmation process has become a national disgrace. The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy.” 

56% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with his statement. Unsurprisingly 77% of Republicans thought that way. 51% affiliated with neither party and even 40% of Democrats agree with Kavanaugh.

In what was probably the most ghastly political stunt since Attorney General Loretta Lynch met Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac to discuss grandkids and golf days ahead of a testimony surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails, America saw two victims eviscerated for political capital.

What could have happened behind closed doors, became a spectator sport. Evidence was withheld until it became expedient to use it  Now that Ford doesn’t wish to push forward with any charges only makes the whole episode stink more. She has been left as road kill and Kavanaugh will bear the scars for many years to come.

CM copped a lot of criticism from late 2015 when he suggested Trump would beat Clinton. How people scoffed and laughed, throwing White House stats in the face on how great things were. CM’s argument when going through broader stats found that the disappearing middle class was only worsening post GFC. The simple argument was that those not living the dream portrayed by rosy econometrics know best. Calling them uneducated, stupid or deplorable was never going to change their minds. They saw the current system not working for them. Nothing to do with identity. All to do with prosperity (rather lack thereof) .

Those very people, if they feel their lot has improved on balance they’ll vote for who will keep that fortune going. It is no longer a question of GOP vs Democrat.

More than any bragging by Trump about his achievements, the mid terms will weigh and measure the reality. Truth be told his constant boasting about new highs on the stock market being down to his stewardship will only backfire if markets correct.

Whatever the media’s constant attacks on the “division” of a nation should be taken in context of the shock of Trump’s election win. Good Americans on both sides of the aisle do not agree with extremists kicking others out of restaurants, calling his daughter a “feckless c*nt” and they probably don’t think too highly of extra marital affairs.

Yet looking across the street in one’s own backyard middle Americans probably know a neighbour having an extra marital affair or embarking on a third marriage. It’s nothing remotely shocking in today’s society.

The question for America is not merely about enforcing the moral high ground (what’s left of it) but sustaining prosperity. Putting food on the table without having to work 3 jobs is more important to many than whether Trump paid a porn star. Apart from it being a matter for Melania, people will be exercising a mid-term vote on whether the Trump frag grenade was worth lobbing.

It is irrelevant whether you love or hate him, his rallies are as packed at the mid-terms as they were during his election campaign. Taking away the bias, listening to how he works up a crowd is worth paying attention to. Whether taking pot shots at Dr Ford, slamming the media at the back of the room for being ‘fake news’ and getting the crowd to chant “CNN sucks” shows he may not be as stupid as made out.

The Kavanaugh confirmation brought up the ugliness of the swamp. The calculated horrorshow of partisan politics was put on full display. There were no winners in that kangaroo court. The GOP May have achieved a Phyrric victory of sorts by getting their man on the Supreme Court but there was little grace.

So in November Americans can choose to leave the scab over the gangrenous wound and go back to the status quo or vote to yank it off and keep the experiment going. Only sunlight has a chance to cauterize this mess. Yet the Democrats are fighting hard to avoid seeing the doctor.

If Americans want to send a message to show that civil unrest and public demonstrations which seek to disrupt daily lives will likely see Republicans do better. People are aware of the issues. Having it force fed through one sided media didn’t work in 2016 and is less likely to work in 2018.

Is BMW hurting bad enough to offer 10yrs free servicing?

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10 years? Sounds a bit desperate. A bit like the Korean makes a few decades back using monster incentives to lure customers by a value to good to refuse proposition. Have luxury car sales become so hard to get in Australia that the prestige make has to offer 10 years of free servicing and 1yr free insurance?

BMW sales in Australia fell 12.2% year on year in August 2018. Audi crumbled 25.8%. Benz did better at -3.4%. Land Rover fell 32%, Lexus down 11.7%. Porsche crumpled 25.4%.

It is likely the fine print in the 10 years free servicing basic package isn’t transferable between owners so if most buyers hold their BMWs for 5 years the total incentive is much less to roll out. If the fine print allows transfers it only adds to the desperate state of having to hurl freebies to shift metal. Dealers tend to make less on the sale of the car but plenty on gouging customers for service and spares.

Seems the tyres are going flat. Total car sales in Australia were down 1.5% in August. Passenger car sales fell 13.4% while those eco conscious Aussies bought 8.3% more SUVs. Medium and large sedan segments fell 24.1% and 60.3% respectively. Every SUV segment rose except upper large. Toyota finished up 1.7% for the month with 19.8% share.

Nike & Colin Kaepernick

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Ultimately consumers will vote with their feet (no pun intended) after Nike’s use of original kneeler Colin Kaepernick as its latest “Just do it.” campaign face. Arguing over who is right or wrong over this has become somewhat irrelevant. The kneeling debate is over 12 months old.

Nike is free to market how it chooses but must bear full responsibility for the firestorm it creates for itself. There is no doubt the social media impact will be huge and the marketing department might wax lyrical at the attention gained all it wants but the question is will the majority of it be positive? Virtue signaling for corporates is a dangerous game. More often than not it backfires.

CM has always held that corporations should stay out of politics because as much as they might profess a united face on certain issues, there is no way they speak on behalf of all those that work for them. The risk is creating an unfair working environment to those who do not wish to participate in the manner the corporate desires, even if they might privately agree. Coercing staff to openly tow the party line is tantamount to making them slaves if forced against their will for fear of repercussions in the workplace.

Don’t think for a second it doesn’t happen. Think of the same sex marriage (SSM) debate. If you had a rainbow flag screen saver you would have been cheered by the internal apparatchiks. Had you a “Vote NO for SSM” screen saver it is likely you would have been hauled in front of your manager and HR to explain your inappropriate workplace behaviour. The matter was a vote of democracy. What place is it for corporates to enforce one type of opinion on changes to the Marriage Act? Let’s not forget the results of the 2011 Census where 0.03% of the population identified with being husband and wife in a same sex relationship. Yes. 1,338 people only. All that fanfare for less than 1,400 people.

We are already seeing people in the US burn Nike products to protest the company’s move.

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In much the same vein as Democrat Party activists boycotting In-N-Out burgers for donating to the GOP, there is no real sense in die-hard NFL fans pushing to #boycottNike. What is the obsession with boycotts? Surely disgruntled fans can make up their own minds whether they’ll choose to buy Nike products or not. It is just more of the oppression obsession.

Nike will ultimately survive. The NFL has already seen ratings take a proper beating. The question is does this help? Probably not but Nike want to make a statement.

Knee jerk reactions where people burn football jerseys, season tickets, Superbowl pennants or Nike sneakers have become less and less about the subject protested about (Black Lives Matter) but more about people getting sick and tired of political correctness and social justice rammed down their throats on an almost daily basis. Even Buzz Aldrin is sick of the politically correct overtones in ‘First Man’ that went out of its way to delete scenes of an epic moment in America’s history – planting an American flag on the moon. Don’t forget Buzz punched a reporter who disparaged him in public. He said he is a “proud American

Sadly, many Americans feel their patriotism is under fire. That they should feel guilty for displaying Old Glory outside their homes. Maybe those loyal fans want to go and watch a NFL match to leave the financial, relationship, work, marital stresses behind. They pay money to unwind, not have political messaging paraded in front of them. Even if they think Black Lives Matter is a worthy cause, kneeling every match won’t make it sink in any deeper but dilute the message, as has been displayed by making Kaepernick the poster child.

Not all NRA members are cold blooded murderers. Those people that voted Republican in the last election aren’t all white supremacist, bigoted, racist Nazis any more than all those people that voted Democrat aren’t all whining, virtue signaling liberals.

Open debate is what is needed. Kicking people out of restaurants through open harassment, burning runners or boycotting businesses won’t fix a thing. Listening and debating the issues based on logical reason is the only way forward.  The only thing worth boycotting is the boycotters themselves. Sadly the lesson is unlikely to be learnt.

#MakeActivismGreatAgain

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There is a sense of irony that Democrat Party protesters still fail to get. Boycotting business doesn’t work very well. In fact the opposite could well be true. This is a picture from the front of In-N-Out burgers on Sept 2, the day after Democrat activists called for a boycott for the fast food chain donating $25,000 to the GOP in California. Why didn’t they protest and call for a boycott when the same burger chain donated $30,000 to the GOP in 2016 and again in 2017? Shouldn’t they be embarrassed for their inconsistency? Perhaps they could thank the burger chain for reducing the size of the donation? One thing is for sure Democrats need to make blue caps with ‘MAKE ACTIVISM GREAT AGAIN”

When people boycotted the NRA post the Florida school shooting, membership surged. It seems more Americans are growing tired of this constant harassment.

There is a pattern from boycotts. People can decide for themselves if they abhor such donations. They don’t require a bunch of idle pot smoking basement dwellers to yell at them and tell them how to spend their hard earned dollars.

Even in Australia, activists called for a boycott of supermarket chain Coles for reintroducing plastic bags to convenience customers. Despite studies by the UK Environment Agency which showed that man made reusable “eco bags” we’re told are so green would have to be used 286x to match the environmental footprint of the single use HDPE disposable shopping bags they replaced. If people dispose of rubbish in these same bags (using them twice) then the eco bags would be required to be used 572x to offset the environmental impact. Ironically if people can’t use such bags for their rubbish they’re forced to buy plastic bags off the shelf to do so meaning plastic consumption is neutral, not reduced.

As these activists conjure up new schemes to makes us feel bad they probably do so sipping a latte from Starbucks in a paper cup. The cost to recycle the 500 billion (and rising) coffee cups consumed annually is so astronomical (it is hard to separate the wax that stops the cup disintegrating because of the energy intensity involved to do so) that over 90% end up in landfill. No one talks about that 300 million tons of virgin paper used to make these cups! How many of us give it one thought when we need a shot of caffeine? Right?! Although Starbucks is trialing a 5p latte levy for those that elect to use a paper cup. In any event no protest.

Boycotting businesses seems to help their fortunes so keep up the good work! Perhaps they should work it into being a platform policy such is the unbridled success

Amazon’s Auschwitz?

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The Japanese Communist Party’s “Red Flag” newspaper wrote an article about the deaths of three Amazon Odawara warehouse workers. The article has been pulled down from the party homepage. The reality is that families of the dead never sued Amazon as the cause of death were deemed private matters. The Labor Safety Inspection Office never ordered remedial action to be taken after the deaths.

However the blogs about the warehouse are calling it “Auschwitz” because of low wages and long hours causing fatigue. In any event it seems that the Communist Party took it down on the basis that “Auschwitz” was deemed an inappropriate comparison to the plight of the factory workers at Amazon’s warehouse operations in Odawara.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) has been going to great lengths to improve work-life balance (e.g. Premium Friday) and limiting overtime to 100hrs a month and 720 hours per year.

Perhaps the MHLW could move to enforcing a minimum 10 working days holiday for staff. It is not hard to find holiday packages to Europe or America for  4 nights only. Hardly the ideal way to wind down.

Yet we mustn’t forget that Japan is not capitalism with warts but communism with beauty spots. Often change has to be driven at a government level because businesses are too afraid to make even boldly common sense moves by themselves for fear of losing face. Take former PM Koizumi’s “Cool biz” programme that encouraged companies to allow workers to abandon neckties and jackets in summer to combat the heat combined with power restrictions. Corporations were too afraid to think outside the “box”. The state needed to rubber stamp it as a norm.

Harassing “soft fascists”

Good to to see conservative journalists get harassed out of a restaurant in Philly after being spotted by leftist activists who one man qualifies them as “soft-fascists.” Even nicer to see these protestors open up to debating these soft fascists with superior intellectual acumen. No, just scream chants through microphones, blow whistles and yell obscenities. This will undoubtedly stop the #WalkAway campaign dead in its tracks. CM wonders if any Democrat voters were trying to enjoy their breakfast?

Maxine Waters would be proud of these freedom fighters. Or is this what a Russian bot actually looks like? Repeating totalitarian slogans on a loop.

NYT hires fab new editor who hates “dumbass f*cking white people”

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Zerohedge reports that The NY Times has hired a fab new addition in Sarah Jeong to the ranks of the board of editors. It has been unearthed that 48 months ago Jeong said some pretty incendiary things about white people. From a personal standpoint as a white person, CM is not in the least bit impacted or offended by her statements. Alas it is just words and free speech. On the contrary the tweets say more about Jeong than any dumbass f*cking white people.

Was Jeong not aware that 8 of the 12 board of editors are currently white? Not that the board’s racial identity should have any bearing on disgraceful bigotry displayed by her.

The only point at stake here is whether The NY Times will defend and maintain consistent standards it would certainly hold if a white editor raged on about people of other colour. This isn’t a rally or #boycott (please no more boycotts) to get Jeong sacked. On the contrary. In free market thinking the question is whether The NY Times exercises rational judgement and sees that from a commercial perspective defending the indefensible might not be good for growing the business or encouraging a shrinking pool of paying advertisers to rent more space?

After the election of Trump, the newspaper changed its slogan to “The truth is more important now than ever.” For someone to espouse such bitter hatred so candidly in social media forums which have a half life of infinity, her truths are for all to see. The truth in The NY Times’ slogan is also on display.

How could The NY Times possibly hope to uphold the highest levels of ethics and moral high ground by defending her? In her press blurb the paper is effusive with praise citing, “Sarah has guided readers through the digital world with verve and erudition, staying ahead of every turn on the vast beat that is the internet.“ It is also quite telling that Twitter didn’t think she broke the very standards that would see conservative voices banned for far less offensive tweets.

CM wonders what the Harvard Law School has to say about its deeply talented alumni who served as Editor of the Journal of Law and Gender? Perhaps she just missed the ethics classes because she was too busy battling to make sure the correct pronouns were used in the articles on identity politics.

Lucky for The NY Times, Jeong will remain in Portland meaning should they choose to uphold the highest levels of integrity the paper won’t be required to fork out her relocation costs. CM had higher hopes for the paper. When it hired a conservative columnist in Bret Stevens there was hope that there was an attempt to seek some balance. He spoke of the vile hatred of the left in his first column. Read it here. The outcome of Jeong will speak more about The NY Times defending the side rather than the principle.