On the economy, the last 3 months have seen an absurd runup in the stock market, with a jump of 11.5% since October 2.
And there really isn't a reason for it other than the promise of easy money from the Federal Reserve, and an alleged drop in uncertainty due to fewer "trade war" headlines. But that doesn't change the overall picture of the economy, especially since any thaw in the trade war isn't going to reduce the tariffs that these same people claimed was holding back the economy and stock market in the middle of this year.
We already know one thing NOT happening as part of the Phase One Trade Deal signing ceremony on January 15: Trump is NOT cutting tariffs...— Chad P. Bown (@ChadBown) December 31, 2019
"Phase One China Deal: Steep Tariffs Are the New Normal" : 👉🏽 https://t.co/lSv17gpbmv https://t.co/kp1Xxp8fkD pic.twitter.com/TxEUCnrC0J
We also have seen home prices get Bubblier in recent years, pumped up by tax cuts and low interest rates encouraging those with money to throw around to put them into assets....and taking the rest of us along with it. Wisconsin is not immune from this trend, as these numbers from the most recent report from the Wisconsin Realtors Association.
Tight inventories continue to be the key driver of Wisconsin’s housing market, according to the most recent analysis of the existing home market by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association. Specifically, closed sales in November were slightly below those of November 2018, falling 0.8 percent, and median prices rose 6 percent to $194,000 over that same period. On a year-to-date basis, home sales trailed the pace established in the first 11 months of 2018 by just 1.4 percent, whereas median prices increased 6.9 percent to $197,500.That might be nice for your equity if you already own your home, but that 6.9% increase in prices is a whole lot more than what most Wisconsinites are getting in raises these days, and it’s definitely a factor behind the higher property taxes people are paying these days.
“As we close in on the year-end, it’s clear that we are going to be very close to the sales levels we’ve seen the last couple of years, but the tight inventory levels have kept our growth in check,” said WRA Chairman Steve Beers. Inventory levels do fluctuate on a seasonal basis, rising during peak sales periods in the summer and then falling during the winter period. However, inventory levels peaked at 5.2 months of supply in June and July of this year, which is below the six-month benchmark that characterizes a balanced market. With November inventories falling to just four months of supply, the number of homes for sale has tightened over the past 12 months, keeping Wisconsin a seller’s market.
Now combine that with the fact that many of us still won't be getting write-offs this Spring for our more expensive mortgages and property taxes, and it makes me wonder when the music stops, and people realize that there isn't a lot of organic growth underneath. We haven't seen the housing market tumble yet, which indicates to me that we're not at 2007 quite yet. But then you read this article about home prices in Vegas dropping, and ads like these all over TV, and I'm not sure we are too far away either.
We also are dealing with a politics where are a few are able to control things while the rest of us are affected, but ignored without much ability to level the playing field. This tweet from journalist Alec MacGillis summed it up perfectly to me.
Someone, I can't recall who, asked recently in this space for single words that defined this past decade. I've thought about it for a bit and now offer my candidate: IMPUNITY.— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) December 29, 2019
The decade started with the failure to hold to account the finance connivers who brought about the Great Recession, a failure that fueled both the Republican sweep of the 2010 midterms and Trump's election. See @noamscheiber's “Escape Artists” & @eisingerj's “Chickenshit Club.”— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) December 29, 2019
In 2016, Mitch McConnell smashed norms by refusing to even hold a hearing for Merrick Garland. Not only did McConnell get away with this, the gambit played a huge role in electing Trump, by giving wary religious conservatives a reason to vote for him. For more, see “The Cynic.”— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) December 29, 2019
Far too many Americans are willing to look the other way from this destructive economy and politics these days, as long as they don't suffer from it. And that's especially true the higher up you go on the income scale, and/or the insider status level.
In conclusion this was the '10s pic.twitter.com/nMkiwhP6gs— Simply loving to permanently be online (@BobbyBigWheel) December 31, 2019
Almost no one has paid a price for this bad behavior, either electorally, financially, or physically. It's fitting that MacGillis had a definitive profile of the then-governor of Wisconsin in 2014, in an article titled "The Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker," and included this picture that showcases the ugliness of Gov Dropout's soul.
And we may have finally blown Governor Dropout out of power in 2018, but other than being prevented from screwing up the state further by signing bad policies and appointing more RW hacks, there hasn't been much of a chance for the state to climb out of the hole he left us in. The gerrymandered GOP Legislature still holds power, despite not having the consent of the majority of Wisconsin voters, and these thugs (and their oligarch puppetmasters) are determined to hold onto their ill-gotten gains by any means necessary.
Walker's still tweeting and getting paid by RW oligarchs to sprout BS like this, where Walker sheds crocodile tears for the national debt while not demanding a reversal of the GOP Tax Scam that caused the debt to explode over the last 2 years. But yet, somehow added spending that is PAID FOR WITH TAXES is worse to Scotty than a Trump Administration that ratchets up spending at the same time as these tax cuts.
The federal debt is $23 TRILLION. If liberal politicians get their way and add $40 TRILLION in new spending, the middle class will have to get stuck with massive tax increases to pay for it. Voters should beware of what they ask for... https://t.co/26kc6fKYsL— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) December 30, 2019
And it's not just Trump that caused this mess in our politics and economy to become so top-heavy, toxic and uneven. It's a rot that goes much deeper than the senile old man in the White House, and includes an entire political party that has decided power and money matter more than a fair and functioning society, and has chosen tactics over convincing people of their ideas.
It's time for accountability and payback in 2020. And frankly, the righties better hope that accountability does come at the ballot box next year, because when the will of a Silenced Majority is ignored, things end much worse for the illegitimate ones that are allowed to stay in power.
It's not going to be that fun to stop the madness that has enveloped many areas of our government and our economy, because the bad guys will not relent until they are CRUSHED, and that might take several years. But it is necessary, and it's something that has to happen for this country to have the 2020s be better than the garbage decade we are ending.
With our current backsliding, it doesn't feel like we've come very far in the 50 years, sad to say.
I know blogging has kind of gone out of style in the last couple of years, but I still dig the long form, and I'll be around this place more in 2020. There'll be plenty to write about, and likely plenty to mock as our vapid and bloated media tries to tell the story of our tipping point of a state. See ya on the other side.