THE DON JONES INDEX…

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

           12/25/17… 15,676.62

           12/18/17… 15,655.82

            6/27/13…  15,000.00        

 

 

 (THE DOW JONES INDEX: 12/25/17… 24,754.06.74; 12/18/17… 24,651.74; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

LESSON for December 25, 2017 – THE NIGHTMARES before CHRISTMAS!

 

It’s Christmas Day.  All is calm, all is bright.

The Senator and Rayna are in New York City.  The dogs romp with their sitter in Miller’s Ridge.  The President and Melania are in Mar-a-Lago, tweeting photographs of a CNN logo squashed beneath his shoe.  Nobody of consequence is in Washington.  They’re all home with dreams of sugarplums and repealing the First Amendment flitting through their dreams… Republicans to quash freedom of assembly, outlaw Islam and punish the fake news that’s not on their side; Democrats to ban speech that invades people’s safe spaces and punish the fake news that’s not on their side…

Merry Christmas!

(And if you are offended, go have sex with yourself or insert a spiny, spiky vegetable into your private parts.  Make America Christian again!)

Most of America north of Tallahassee, Baton Rouge and San Antonio is frozen; that which ain’t is either on fire, at risk of celebrity harassers and furtive, illegals crossing the border, or is Mar-a-Lago.  The music of Christmas morning is the grunting of millions of Don Joneses shoveling snow and the cries and laughter of children, the fortunate and unfortunate, opening presents or not.  “This is a revolutionary change, and the biggest winners will be middle class workers as jobs start pouring into our country, as companies start competing for American labor, and as wages continue to grow,” Trump had said during a speech in Indianapolis at the Indiana State Fair Grounds last September.  (Just who is the middle class?  See Attachment One.)

America endures.

As does its deficit.  As does the debt crisis - Congress having skipped town like an exploding fidget-spinner scammer ahead of the cops – pushing back the resolution of the 2018 budget to… 2018!

The world didn’t end.  It doesn’t, very often, not here.

Before sneaking away, the politicians did finger some winners and some losers and many more – a little of each.  Kicking the can down the road meant kicking sand in the eyes of the dreamers… both the President, who again saw his beautiful wall deferred and long-term illegals whose status remains confused.  The rich got massive and permanent tax cuts and a stock market up 25 percent in 2017.  The middle class got tax cuts for eight years and healthier IRAs.  Poor, sick children got a stay of execution as the CHIPS grants to the states for public health were extended – not just to the middle of January but all the way into March!  Merry Christmas.

Puerto Ricans, on the other hand, got a lump of coal.  Figuratively… they didn’t even get the real stuff with which they could heat their hurricane-destroyed huts, or what’s left of them.  Thirty percent of the island is still without electrical power.  The rest of the people are without political power.  So they are coming to America.  And the ICE cannot deport them because they are Americans.  Sort of…

Let’s hope they don’t all have AIDS!

There was not much in the way of compromise at the House and Senate in this last functional week before 2018 after the tax cut bill passed the former (with only a handful of dissenting Republicans from blue states with high housing prices, worried that voters who’d seen their mortgage interest deductions cut would blame them in November) and then the latter (on a strict, party-line vote – the extorting elephant boys (Cotton and Rand Paul, Flake and Little Marco) and girl (Susan Collins) either being bought off with special interest Christmas gifts or told to shut up and vote right, lest POTUS unleash upon them Evil Steve with a plague of primary challengers who could boot them out of office before losing to Democrats in November.

The 51-48 Senate vote sufficed because the bill had been sent there for “reconciliation” (an oxycontin if ever there was one!).  To wave away the prospects of a filibuster, the permanency of the tax cuts for the rich might be imperiled after a decade because the bill can't add to the federal deficit outside of the budget's ten-year window. This would make it incredibly hard for Republicans to make the corporate rate cuts permanent, according to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady.  “I think it's going to take several steps and through the process to achieve that," Brady told reporters Wednesday.

"We have, as you know, in reconciliation those awfully funny Senate Byrd rules. So that will enter into the discussion."  Brady did say tell the Business Insider that was "confident" that the "pro-growth provisions" in the tax bill, including the corporate tax cut would be permanent.

Permanency, however, may dissipate well before 2028… perhaps as early as early 2021 if Democrats regain control of Congress and the White House.  Americans, by and large, remain ungrateful and suspicious.  Of all the horrors Donald Trump has (and has yet to) inflict upon the republic, a huge tax cut for the rich was the most inevitable,” admitted the December 3rd New York Magazine.  “But it is also the most easily reversible,” inasmuch as a Washington Post survey called “the second-most-unpopular major piece of legislation in recorded history, behind only Trump’s other major domestic initiative, the health-care-repeal bill.  (See Attachment Two.)

“In the 2020 campaign, New York predicted, “Democrats are inevitably going to propose new social spending. Reporters are inevitably going to ask them how they plan to pay for it. Republicans have given them an easy answer: Repeal the Trump tax cuts for the rich.”

The argument is somewhat facile, given the belief… expressed down the road at the Times (11/15/17)… that the middle class, let alone the poor, will ultimately come to see the winter of 2018 as a season of takings away, not sharing.  To be sure, there have been a few instances of corporate largesse – even as WalMart was promising a massive investment in automated cash registers, Comcast, Wells Fargo and AT&T were gifting their employees with holiday bonuses.  But the cynics at the fake news media have pointed out that the goodwill may be influenced by Comcast’s expectation of gigantic profits through exploitation of the net neutrality repeal, while AT&T is pursuing a controversial takeover of Time/Warner and Wells Fargo remains under indictment for falsifying depositor accounts by stuffing them with overpriced, underperforming investments.

Cynics!  (As the preview promos for one of those new midseason doctor shows reiterate: it’s all business.)

After the Tax Policy Center reported that 83 percent of Trump’s tax cut loot would go to the richest one percent, Senate leader Mitch McConnell said: “If we cannot sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wi), speaking two days after the tax bill passage let slip the G.O.P. agenda on the budget... reforming entitlements and cutting spending, with the kind of “reforms” he wants are those that “get people from welfare to work”.  (Of course, all those corporations reportedly “going wild” over their Christmas cookies are going to rush out and spend that money creating jobs in inner-city hellholes like Cleveland, St. Louis and Detroit, or the bleak, abandoned rural locales of Maine, Appalachia or, for that matter, Puerto Rico where the minimum wage is the same as in the rest of America, although a proposed cut to $4.25 per hour, proposed by Ryan’s and Walker’s Cheese State cheesehead Sean Duffy (HR 4900) and subsequently passed as S2328.  Litigation has proliferated.

Since Trump’s election, Ryan has been portrayed as an amiable bumbler, a long-suffering stooge willing to stand up and take the brickbats thrown at him by the President, his cabinet of curiosities and his entourage of wicked clowns, all the while complaining that his job is too hard for such a nice boy as himself.  This has overshadowed the older Ryan, the tea-party Ryan… once-up-a-time sidekick to welfare-hating Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (not to mention Bill Clinton); a faithful factotum of the “donor class” and a peculiar subset of it, those who would rather kill America’s poor but who have had to settle for merely making them suffer.  He is sharpening knives and weighing his prospects for 2024, if not 2020.  Come the New Year, the Ryan mask will be yanked off by reality and little Eddie Munster will be exposed as the monster that he is… at least to the un- and under-employed, the minimum wagers, the food-stamp junkies and sick, old women in the nursing homes, the losers in America’s great game… by picking up their pillows and squeezing downwards, always enough to hurt, sometimes enough to kill.

“At a town hall-style event in Virginia on Tuesday night,” the Times reported, “Paul D. Ryan, the House speaker, said the most important steps that could be taken to reduce the national debt were spurring economic growth and making changes to entitlement programs.

 “You cannot get the national debt under control, you cannot get that deficit under control, if you don’t do both: grow the economy, cut spending,” said Mr. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin.

The Republican tax plan, he said “grows the economy. We’ve got a lot of work to do in cutting spending.”

Djonald Unchained once said that, as President, he would not preside over cutting entitlements, but he has since been described as “flexible”.  While he is tweeting self-congratulatory paeans to himself for having saved “Merry Christmas”, Ryan is banking his IOUs from the donor class while capitulating to pleas from Democrats who apparently believe that the day of reckoning can be staved off indefinitely.

Calling the tax bill “a nasty, two-step strategy that has long been the holy grail for hard-right Republicans,” Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, predicted: “If this bill passes, you can bet the Republicans will immediately sharpen the knives for middle-class benefits.”

Joining (or perhaps competing with) Ryan and perhaps flaky retiree Jeff Flake, the December 1st online Newsweek reported that Little Marco, the scrubbed and smiling defender of the child tax credit during the giveaway hearings is prepared to doff his own mask and wrestle the Speaker for the affections of the donor class.

“To address the federal deficit, which will grow by at least $1 trillion if the tax plan passes, Congress will need to cut entitlement programs such as Social Security, Rubio told reporters this week, touting changes to the rate and age of Social Security and Medicare payouts.

Advocates for the elderly and the poor warned Newsweek that entitlement programs would be on the chopping block, but this is the first time a prominent Republican has backed their claims.

"You have got to generate economic growth because growth generates revenue,” Rubio said at a Politico conference.  "But you also have to bring spending under control. And not discretionary spending. That isn’t the driver of our debt. The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries."

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) issued a Thanksgiving warning to Don Jones that “liberal programs” for the poor were wasting Americans’ money. 

"What's coming next is all too predictable: The deficit hawks will come flying back after this bill becomes law," said Senator Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.) "Republicans are already saying 'entitlement reform' and 'welfare reform' are next up on the docket. But nobody should be fooled—that's just code for attacks on Medicaid, on Medicare, on Social Security, on anti-hunger programs."

The (orthodox) conservative Brussels Journal, back in 2012, argued for America to pick up Ronald Reagan’s “ambitious Republican plan for slowing the increase in entitlement spending that was adopted by the House” (that would) “target the lower income population in the US and spare the middle and upper class. This of course gives ammunition to the occupy movement,” Friedrich Hansen noted, but he scoffed at the potential for violent reactions that might trigger ethnic and class cleansing.  “It would be a huge mistake to trigger riots with clearly wrongheaded policies. 

“It seems easier to cut lower-income entitlements like food stamps than targeting the bulk of middle class benefits that could stir up more opposition,” Hansen stated. “However clearly here arises the issue not only of mathematical logic but moral justice, he added, which is why the Journal is considered an orthodox (compassionate?) conservative organ.  “After all the middle and upper class are far more capable of stomaching some cuts than the poor. Moreover this problem reflects a long history of big government and wrong allocation of tax payer’s money - or more precisely the self-serving vote-buying tactics of the political class aiming for getting re-elected at the expense of the tax payer.”

Like most modern “conservatives” the Brussels sprouts believe that the entitlement culture “(u)ndermines ethic of personal responsibility, promotes “learned helplessness,” Escalates expectations (e.g. current child care debates) Government “takes the life out of life” by eradicating problems for people to resolve (Charles Murray); Leaves “only sex and shopping” (Theodore Dalrymple); Enables self-destructive behavior that would not otherwise have arisen (e.g. growth in single parent numbers).

But they might also have balked at the arrogance of steep tax cuts for the rich as: “Producer group ‘rent-seeking’”, and the “donor class” cultivation of political influence as “bureaucratic empire building.”

“The Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday (November 14th) that a law passed in 2010 would necessitate cuts to Medicare of as much as $25 billion next year”, the New York Times predicted, which statement was picked up by AARP (the old folks lobby – to whom Ryan snapped back “It won’t happen!). The pay-as-you-go law requires that legislation that adds to the federal deficit be paid for with spending cuts or other offsets. If that does not happen, automatic cuts to programs like Medicare kick in. The Medicare cuts, which are capped at 4 percent of the program’s annual spending, could reach almost a half trillion dollars over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“The cuts can be averted through bipartisan legislation, though it is unclear whether Republicans would go along with such workarounds.”

But bipartisan legislation… even to the extent of Trump, Ryan and Mitch McConnell persuading, bribing or threatening just ten Democratic Senators to cross the aisle and join Republicans in passing a budget… rate as impossible to unlikely, even if Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps and/or the EITC are not only uncut but increased.  The reason is what Good Morning America correspondent Matthew Dowd called “tribalism”.

Of course, all of the media cited… including former Trump backers at Fox… may just be recycling fake news.  But Bannon’s own alt-right babykins, Breitbart, and the conspiracy moguls at Infowars had the scenario in hand, going all the way back to the first Obama administration, when Alex Jones was a sort of free-range “antitri” (anti-tribal) populist.  The February 26th, 2011 edition of IW even quoted then-sentient liberal comedian George Carlin, who warned…

Now they’re coming for your social security money … they want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street.”

Now,” the Info Warriors predicted, citing two straight Obamoid Social Security cost-of-living freezes at a time of much higher inflation, “seniors and future generations that had nothing to do with creating the national debt and massive shortfalls in social security are going to pay the price.”

Eighteen months later, they turned to another – even less popular entitlement than Social Security and Medicare… welfare.  On 11/18/12, one day after the newly-instituted EBT card system (that replaced food stamps and was managed by JP Morgan Chase), suffered a six-hour outage across ten states - which glitch IW colluder Mike Adams of Natural News called a dry run for an eventual shutoff of the system.  Previously, PrisonPlanet… another IW satellite… had accused the Feds of conspiring to kill off the poor, by explaining…  

“EBT cards aren’t merely good on food staples like beans and rice, they can be spent on processed junk food that promotes diabetes and obesity. That’s the “dirty little secret” of the EBT scheme: It encourages low-income Americans to become high-profit customers of the pharmaceutical industry by eating their way to obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.”

As a remedy for the seniors, IW concluded: “It doesn’t matter whether you believe in cutting entitlement programs or not.  The overall equation for the average citizen has tipped so far in the favor of the elites who orchestrated this mess, that it’s time to draw the line in the sand.”  And, among the advertisements for desert real estate, gold, guns and dried MRE’s, the X-filers proposed a radical solution… revolution.  “The perceived debt problems will not be solved by cutting social security while the wars continue and the banks get a blank check from the taxpayer.  If we aren’t ready to fight for their deserved benefits now, then we may deserve the absolute looting that is occurring.”

By late 2012, however, the prospect of riots and revolution had turned rightward, with Adams predicting a “false flag” conspiracy in which a permanent EBT card glitch would initiate a four-stage march to fascist, not Communist, revolution…

   1)   Purposely shut off all EBT cards. (Takes just two seconds at JP Morgan.)

  2)    Blame it on a cyber terrorist attack and use the crisis to institute harsh new police state controls over the internet. (“Never let a good crisis go to waste…”)

3)    Allow the “EBT riots” to unfold. Keep the National Guard away for long enough to let things get out of control and have scary footage broadcast on the evening news.

4)    Once things are bad enough, announce Martial Law and bring in the troops to turn America’s streets into a Nazi-style police state surveillance and enforcement system, complete with TSA-run checkpoints on all major roads.

“What’s required to make this happen? Nothing more than turning off the EBT cards for 72 hours. That’s it! It’s just a single change to a single line of code at JP Morgan Chase, and it’s mission accomplished for the globalists.

“Yesterday’s EBT outage, in fact, may have been a practice run for the real thing. When the globalists want riots to unfold, they now have the tool to make it happen.”

Left or right revolt, it’s a no-brainer that both tribes and houses of Congress will lose the empty skulls that might once have contained such content to the guillotine, and David Duke will be named President of the United States (after which he will deny that he has ever recognized or supported Donald Trump).

Assorted voices from the peanut gallery admit, even endorse such a scenario. “Americans would riot!” RP started firmly, and six years ago!  “No way, Im shocked lol. With deep social cuts our soon to be third world cities would quickly turn into war zones. When generation welfare no longer has access to free food, housing, and healthcare let the fun begin and for those who think the "good" in society will prevail in a time of crises i invite u to take a review of katrina or the LA riots to gain a better sense of reality.

“I don't think every person on an entitlement would riot,” allowed a more optimistic BJ, “many of them would though. We could take care of it with military force, might could even use troops we have in some third world country somewhere. I don't think the riots would last very long.”

“Not everybody would riot,” agreed a respondent, “but there would be a TON of smelly college kids running through the streets proclaiming rights they do not have.”

Some saw, in the crisis, a return to Armageddon.  “The world is slowly unraveling and its suppose to be that way at the end...goodbye,” signed off S.W.

"It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God,'" an anonymous poster quoth.

 

Other saw the tribulations to come as an impetus for ethnic cleansing.  “So many people in this country gaming the fucking system,” complained DI, “and yet Corker wants to stick it the old people who had no choice but to pay into SS.  Now that it is time to collect he wants to pull the rug out.  Pull the rug out on these lazy niggers I see hanging-out on the street corners all day long.

It's going to be hard to convince people who have been sustained for generations while setting firmly on their ass that they will somehow feel more pride and fulfillment in working 40 hours a week at a real job,” reasoned WO. “The true cost of entitlements has not been in dollars, but in the destruction of self reliance, personal pride and productivity. Like weight management, it is so much easier to gain weight than to lose it and these people will not go gently into the work force. We will need to ween them while presenting them true viable alternatives....or simply trigger massive riots that empower the state to simple "eliminate" the problem....” but, the sorrowful poster laments, “we know that will never happen. It is a horrible problem more vicious than debt. Not only are the indoctrinated to believe they DESERVE their entitlements, but they have been encourage to act out violently without consequence BECAUSE they are entitled. We have fed the bears and now have to deal with the consequences. If we are not forthcoming, they will be coming for us.”

Gold, guns and MREs!  Recently, decently-self-styled persons noted the death of Charles Manson with high cockalorum approval.   Crazy Charlie was a rotten fellow... a biographer and Fug Ed Sanders noted that good people do not kill pretty girls... but he seems to have been ace-high in his estimation that blacks, Mexicans, Asians etc. would rise up and kill at the whites except for Charlie and his girls who would hide in a hole in the desert until the victors decided that they were unable to govern themselves and would offer the emergent Family absolute power over the world.  (And then, Emperor Manson would deny that he has ever recognized or supported Donald Trump!)

“Before the modern welfare state was created, proud, productive, and self-reliant people across the Western world were ready for violent socialist revolution,” a more ideologically moderate, though tribal, jeremiad was posted in Zero Hedge (another IW tentacle).  “The emotional "wage" was nowhere near enough to compensate for the material realities of poverty.

“Of course, I know you're talking about the ghetto-dwelling underclass.  But they've never had anything they weren't given, and they're behaving perfectly rationally by being both so protective of continuing to be given to and then trying to increase the value of the goods and services that they're given.”

Being that this was five or six years ago, when the IW empire had at least a pretense of (extreme) bipartisanship, BM… a critic of the wimpy Greek Insurrections of the time, boasted FR, “…you wanna see how Americans do riots? Just announce that Social Security and Medicare will be eliminated, effective immediately. Raise all taxes. Cut all student loans and education financial assistance - bye bye Pell grants. All non-essential government agencies - gone. No more HUD, or NASA, Dep't of Agriculture... but keep Homeland Security, because it keeps us "safe". But don't worry, there's hundreds of millions of armed citizens in our cities and rural areas, ready to take on the goon squad police and national guard...

“Oh yes. There Will Be Blood. The riots of the 1960's will look like birthday parties.”

The problem for Authority is that the poor and powerless aren’t the only turkeys on the chopping block.  Serious budget cuts can’t help but impact the military, the National Guard, the police and such charged with imposing law and order on an increasingly lawless and disheveled America.  The military did get a token augmentation, but Russia is still expanding into Ukraine and now apparently taking up the slack in North Korea as China pursues a strategic retreat, Iran, like the No Ko’s are breeding nukes, poisons and germs (a particularly grim No Ko lab has been established in the ominously globalist village of Killju), ISIS fighters are returning to their home countries and recruiting on the internet and the Jerusalem embassy kvetching has set the world (except for Israel and, maybe, Guatemala) ag’in us.

Lefty peanuts like those at Hard Time agree on the inevitability (and perhaps desirability) of bloody riots.  “One thing I can promise you is - you'll never get a chance to vote on this. The insiders have made the decision for you. They've chosen to maintain the military empire - no matter how much suffering the social cuts cause! They don't give a damn!”

Back in 2014, a photographed but unnamed pessimist predicted the winter of 2018.  “Don't expect the government to bail you out. They'll spend hundreds of billions to bail out the rich but peasants like us won't get a dime this time around.”

And then, he predicted that Obama would use the debt crisis to take over the world.

“This time around they'll probably stage an attack on one of our navy ships in the Persian Gulf. Many of our sailors will be killed. Then Obama will announce that the Iranians were behind the attack (though they probably had nothing to do with it!). Then the U.S. and Isreal (sic) will attack Iran and World War 3 will follow.

“Within months the social program cuts will start. When the cuts are announced blood riots will spontaneously occur throughout the country.

“Massive quasi-military forces will be brought in to suppress the riots and the horrible brutality of their tactics will shock the nation.

“Soon thereafter thousands of Muslims, religious fundamentalists and dissenters will be rounded up and herded off to internment camps where they will spend years locked away.

“Food and fuel shipments will be disrupted and prices of both will skyrocket as supplies dry up. Millions will descend into terrible poverty.”

 (And then, Kommissar Obama would ask: “Who the fuck is Donald Trump?  That reality show guy?”)

Adams (above) allowed that the debt crisis would limp on through cutting entitlements and “currency debasement” would create a hyperbolic final blowout of debt that can only lead to a total economic implosion. Obama has put the USA on a collision course with a debt implosion, adding more to the U.S. debt in the last four years than all the Presidents in the history of America — combined! And with government spending continuing to expand beyond all sanity, there is no stopping the coming debt blowout.

“Over the next four years, this chart will get even more insane as Obama spends trillions of dollars of money we don’t have, further accelerating America’s head-on collision with the financial apocalypse.

It is somewhat interesting that both left and right believe that the final collapse will be the consequence of “false flag” incidents created to usher in a totalitarian regime appropriate to their tribal leanings.

Future travails acknowledged, all in all, however, it was a banner week for Trump, if not for Bannon (whose flaming-out Roy Moore comet still refuses to concede)… a big win for the “donor class” which is beginning to warm to the President, another tie and overtime for the budget and a bunch of losses that the delusional Chief Executive failed to acknowledge (Robert Mueller is still on the job and burning the midnight oil seeking dastardly Russians under the White House Christmas tree, a Federal appeals court overturned the travel ban on Muslims, but the Gorsuch Court told them to stuff it).

Still the Puerto Ricans and illegals keep coming to America.  Even the Haitians, Nigerians and that obese old Socialist from the far north (not Bernie Sanders, but the other one).

 

This Week’s Fallen

 

Is the METOO movement running out of steam, or just out of celebrity cads as the unseen, unpublicized action moves to the retail outlets, fast food kitchens and white-collar ghettoes of Middle America?

Attention is also starting to shift to the harassment enablers... men (or women) who might have known that a colleague, friend or relative was apt to be doing bad things or thinking bad thoughts, but who failed to report the malefactor to the police or Gloria Allred.  Embattled males are circling their wagons, apparently realizing that snitches (still) don’t get bitches.

Oscar winner Meryl Streep has all but been accused of waving a penis by rising feminist icon (and Marilyn Manson’s ex-fiancée) Rose McGowan, who’s accused her of giving aid and comfort to Horrible Harvey.

Matt Damon, too, has been the target of women who resent his once-close relationship with the disgraced producer to whom he, and Ben Affleck, more or less owe their careers.

Harv, himself, remains voluntarily locked up in a sex-addict treatment center.  The pounding on the door and pebbles on the windows that disturb his sleep are the doings of lawyers... lots and lots of lawyers.  A very unmerry Christmas.

Sam Haskell, the CEO of Miss America pageants, has been accused of not only harassing present-day contestants, but going back in time to complain about how prior winners are turning fat and matronly and popping his bubbles of illusion.  Mean women, those!

Improper Brits include an unnamed deputy minister whose expensive and expansive collection of porn was exposed for the world to google and to goggle, and one Charles Dutoit, a symphone conductor who joins Met Opera’s James Levine over the pond in disgrace.

A couple of guys from Vice... what could you expect from a joint named Vice?

 

After last week’s record leap for the Dow and record plunge for the Don, the DJI recovered a bit on the basis of a giddy gain in housing sales and a modest rise in prices.  The Joneses broke out the plastic to have a very Merry Christmas (and those other guys, they did OK too with their prayer rugs and menorahs and dancing around the altar) and no major wars broke out.  Nor, does it seem, that the terrorists perhaps still traumatized by losing Raqqa, could get their goatshit together to terrorize the world – what headlines were printed notably included the word “foiled”... “foiled”... “foiled”...

“Darn it,” invoked Cardinal Dolan on a Christmas-themed talkshow, “the American project endures.”  (He went on to add, however, that his cheery disposition had been enhanced by three “good” eggnogs.  

 

 

THE DON JONES INDEX

CHART of CATEGORIES w/VALUE ADDED to EQUAL BASELINE of 15,000

(REFLECTING… approximately… DOW JONES INDEX of June 27, 2013)

See a further explanation of categories here

 

ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)

                                                                                                                                              

DON JONES’ PERSONAL ECONOMIC INDEX (45% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

INCOME

 

(24%)

BASE

6/27/13

      RECKONINGS

       LAST            CHANGE

 

NEXT

DON

12/18/17

DON

12/25/17

 

OUR SOURCE(S) and COMMENTS

 

 

 

Wages (hourly, per capita)    

9%

1350 points 

      12/18/17

+0.09%

Jan. 18

     1,466.17

 

     1,466.17

 

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages   22.24

Median Income (yearly)

4%

600

12/25/17

+0.04%

1/1/18

649.76

650.01

debtclock.org/    30,592

Unempl. (BLS – in millions

4%

600

12/11/17

-2.44%

Jan. 18

     1,110.17

     1,110.17

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000     4.1 nc

   Official (DC - in millions)

2%

300

12/25/17

-0.26%

1/1/18

522.55

523.90

http://www.usdebtclock.org/      6,561

   Unofficl. (DC - in millions)

2%

300

12/25/17

-0.34%

1/1/18

505.94

507.65

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    12,719

Workforce Participation

     Number (in millions)

     Percentage (DC)

2%

300

12/25/17

 

+0.04%

-0.001%

1/1/18

286.17

286.17

Americans in/not in workforce (mil.) 

In: 154,034 Out 95,441 Total 249,475

http://www.usdebtclock.org/  61.74% nc

WP Percentage (ycharts)*

1%

150

12/11/17

nc

Jan. 18

149.37

149.37

http://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate   62.70%

 

 

OUTGO

    (15%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Inflation (aggregate)

7%

1050

12/18/17

+0.4%

1/1/18

981.13

981.13

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm    +0.4

 

Inflation – Food

2%

300

12/18/17

nc

1/1/18

279.82

279.82

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     nc

 

               - Gasoline

2%

300

12/18/17

+7.3%

1/1/18

296.96

296.96

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm    +7.3

 

               - Medical Costs

2%

300

12/18/17

+0.6%

1/1/18

266.75

266.75

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm    +0.6

 

               -  Shelter

2%

300

12/18/17

+0.2%

1/1/18

285.96

285.96

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm    +0.2

 

 

WEALTH

(6%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

12/25/17

  +1.33%

1/1/18

427.28

429.05

Dow – 24,754.06

Homes – Sales

             -  Valuation

1%

1%

150

150

12/25/17 12/25/17

Sales   +7.79%    Valu.   +1.18%

1/1/18

197.28         223.23

212.65         225.87

http://www.realtor.org/research-and-statistics

Sales (M):  5.81 Valuations (K):  248.0

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

12/25/17

   +0.07%

1/1/18

261.47

261.29

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    57,310

 

 

AMERICAN ECONOMIC INDEX (15% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

 

          NATIONAL

(10%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues (in trillions – tr.)

2%

300

12/25/17

 +0.15%

1/1/18

383.33

383.90

debtclock.org/       3.364

 

Expenditures (in tr.)

2%

300

12/25/17

 +0.02%

1/1/18

262.47

262.40

debtclock.org/       4.027

 

National Debt (tr.)

3%

450

12/25/17

 +0.03%

1/1/18

354.61

354.45

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    20,606

 

Aggregate Debt (tr.)

3%

450

12/25/17

+0.09%

1/1/18

372.38

372.03

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    68,991

 

 

 

 

           GLOBAL

(5%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Debt (tr.)

2%

300

12/25/17

+0.06%

1/1/18

306.93

306.74

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   6.358 362

 

Exports (in billions – bl.)

1%

150

11/13/17

-0.46% 

1/1/18

156.62

156.62

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/congressional.html 195.9

 

Imports (bl.)

1%

150

11/13/17

-1.76%

1/1/18

132.87

132.87

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/congressional.html 244.6

 

Trade Deficit (bl.)

1%

150

11/13/17

-10.68% 

1/1/18

99.66

99.66

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/congressional.html  48.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                 SOCIAL INDICES (40%)

                       LIBERTY and SECURITY INDEX           (15%) 

      ACTS of MAN

(9%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Peace

3%

450

12/25/17

  -0.1%

1/1/18

426.79

426.36

UN condemns Trump’s moving American Embassy to Jerusalem.  But Putin thanks The Donald for spy help against ISIS.

 

Terrorism

2%

300

12/25/17

   -0.2%

1/1/18

223.25

223.70

ISIS promises Xmas terror.  Terror in UK – foiled.  In San Francisco – foiled.  Australian terror succeeds, but the Aussies do find a rare dinosaur footprint.

 

Private/Public Corruption 

2%

300

12/25/17

    +0.1%

1/1/18

307.13

306.82

Fake Oprah scams shoppers.  VA pilloried for hiring an incompetent, disbarred doctor.  Bitcoin crashes.

 

Crime

1%

150

12/25/17

  -0.1%

1/1/18

236.76

237.00

Kidnapped baby found in Houston after mother killed.  Teens throw sandbags from Toledo overpass, injure passenger.  Serial shooter attacks drivers in Fresno.

 

 

      ACTS of GOD             

(6%)

(with, in some cases, a little… or lots of… help from men, and a few women)

 

 

 

Environment/Weather

3%

450

12/25/17

    +0.1%

1/1/18

343.70

344.04

White Christmas for northern half of US.  California fires fading, but…

 

Natural/Unnatural Disasters

3%

450

12/25/17

    +0.3%

1/1/18

358.28

357.51

Celebrity mansions in Montecito threatened.  Seattle death train was going 80 mph in 30 zone, Mexico death bus kills US tourists on la costa Maya.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         LIFESTYLE and JUSTICE INDEX          (15%)

Science, Tech. & Education

4%

600

12/25/17

+0.2%

1/1/18

628.77

628.77

North Koreans fingered as “wannacry” virus makers.  Virgin hyperloops hits 240 mph.  Smart toys accused of spying on children.  Male contraceptive jelly tested.

 

 

Equality (economic/social)

4%

600

12/25/17

+0.2%

1/1/18

733.79

732.33

Trump tweets against Haitians and Nigerians while Afghan refugee Achmed al-Mofty, cop killer in Pennsylvania, found to have been let in on a family immigrant visa.

 

 

Health

4%

600

12/25/17

 +0.1%

1/1/18

537.82

539.43

24 year old infant born out of frozen embryos.  Doctors praise life-extending powers of Apples, tomatoes and fish.  Diners reject tainted Chipotle meals.  Flu vaccine proves weak and opiate overdoses up 21%.  Giant health corporations go on merger binge while conservatives rassle over abortions for illegals.

 

 

Freedom and Justice                        

3%

450

12/25/17

  +0.1%

1/1/18

499.91

500.41

Bundy ranch standoff and shootout mistrial.  Slenderman teen gets 25 years in Arkham.  Harvey Weinstein (above) besieged by hungry lawyers.

 

                     

                       MISCELLANEOUS and TRANSIENT INDEX        (10%)

All miscellaneous incidents

 (transient and cultural)

10%

1000

12/25/17

+0.2%

1/1/18

1071.66

1069.52

Last Jedi keeps raking in the millions.  Tax cut mergermania spreads from casinos to Campbell’s Soup.  Mammoth skeleton sold for 645 million in France will make a lot of soup.  Vince McMahon to bring back XFL?  Romans spit at pathetic Charlie Brown tree.  RIP to singer Keely Smith, sportscaster Dick Enberg, Heather North (the voice of Scooby Doo).  Just rest or to hell with pedophile Cardinal Bernard Law and fake Howard Hughes bio promulgator Clifford Irving.

 

 

The Don Jones Index for the week of December 25th through December 31st, 2017 was UP 20.74 points. 

The Don Jones Index is sponsored by the Coalition for a New Consensus: retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate Jack “Catfish” Parnell, Chairman; Brian Doohan, Administrator/Editor.  The CNC denies, emphatically, allegations that the organization, as well as any of its officers (including former Congressman Parnell, environmentalist/America-Firster Austin Tillerman and cosmetics CEO Rayna Finch) and references to Parnell’s works, “Entropy and Renaissance” and “The Coming Kill-Off” are fictitious or, at best, mere pawns in the web-serial “Black Helicopters” – and promise swift, effective legal action against parties promulgating this and/or other such slanders.

Comments, complaints, donations (especially SUPERPAC donations) always welcome at feedme@generisis.com or: speak@donjonesindex.com

 

ATTACHMENT ONE

Types of Social Classes of People (from Cliffnotes)

 

“Social class refers to a group of people with similar levels of wealth, influence, and status. Sociologists typically use three methods to determine social class:

·         The objective method measures and analyzes “hard” facts.

·         The subjective method asks people what they think of themselves.

·         The reputational method asks what people think of others.

Results from these three research methods suggests that in the United States today approximately 15 to 20 percent are in the poor, lower class; 30 to 40 percent are in the working class; 40 to 50 percent are in the middle class; and 1 to 3 percent are in the rich, upper class.”

So, how do the classes break down?

From Cliffnotes:

The lower class

The lower class is typified by poverty, homelessness, and unemployment. People of this class, few of whom have finished high school, suffer from lack of medical care, adequate housing and food, decent clothing, safety, and vocational training. The media often stigmatize the lower class as “the underclass,” inaccurately characterizing poor people as welfare mothers who abuse the system by having more and more babies, welfare fathers who are able to work but do not, drug abusers, criminals, and societal “trash.”

The working class

The working class are those minimally educated people who engage in “manual labor” with little or no prestige. Unskilled workers in the class—dishwashers, cashiers, maids, and waitresses—usually are underpaid and have no opportunity for career advancement. They are often called the working poor. Skilled workers in this class—carpenters, plumbers, and electricians—are often called blue collar workers. They may make more money than workers in the middle class—secretaries, teachers, and computer technicians; however, their jobs are usually more physically taxing, and in some cases quite dangerous.

The middle class

The middle class are the “sandwich” class. These white collar workers have more money than those below them on the “social ladder,” but less than those above them. They divide into two levels according to wealth, education, and prestige. The lower middle class is often made up of less educated people with lower incomes, such as managers, small business owners, teachers, and secretaries. The upper middle class is often made up of highly educated business and professional people with high incomes, such as doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers, and CEOs.

The upper class

Comprising only 1 to 3 percent of the United States population, the upper class holds more than 25 percent of the nation's wealth. This class divides into two groups: lowerupper and upperupper. The lowerupper class includes those with “new money,” or money made from investments, business ventures, and so forth. The upperupper class includes those aristocratic and “highsociety” families with “old money” who have been rich for generations. These extremely wealthy people live off the income from their inherited riches. The upperupper class is more prestigious than the lowerupper class.

Wherever their money comes from, both segments of the upper class are exceptionally rich. Both groups have more money than they could possibly spend, which leaves them with much leisure time for cultivating a variety of interests. They live in exclusive neighborhoods, gather at expensive social clubs, and send their children to the finest schools. As might be expected, they also exercise a great deal of influence and power both nationally and globally.

 

From ZAKS FINANCE

Basis:

The median income for all American households is $50,054 (as of 2013). The middle class is based on this number and how far above and below it a family can exist without reaching poverty or the next level of success. Often the 20 percent existing at the mathematical center of the country's earners are where the middle class starts, and it is built outward from there using factors like housing type and cost of living.

Lower AND Lower Middle Class:

The lower middle class consists of mostly blue-collar workers who make just enough to distinguish themselves from the poor or lower class. The average income for lower middle-class households is $29,204 as of September 2012, compared with the lower-class average of $23,550 for a family of four. Workers who fall into the lower middle-class category are typically uneducated and work for hourly wages rather than in salaried positions. In Alaska and Hawaii the poverty line is adjusted upward to $29,440 and $27,090, respectively, in consideration for the higher cost of living.

Middle Middle Class:

The middle middle class averages $49,842 in income per year, per household. Most of the middle middle class have college degrees and work in white-collar jobs or other professional positions. Many do not reach management or top level positions due in part to a lack of advanced degrees. Overall, the range of incomes that fit into the middle middle-class category are $32,500 to $60,000 (as of 2012).

Upper Middle Class:

At the top end of the middle-class spectrum are the upper middle class. Upper middle-class households earn $60,000 to $150,000 per year with a nationwide average of $80,080. Upper middle-class workers tend to work in white-collar management or executive positions and hold the advanced degrees that allow them to be considered for such work. Although still considered middle class, the higher end of the upper middle-class worker is actually in the top 33 percent of all Americans when it comes to wealth.

The Upper Class:

No such animule.  The existence of an upper class is fake news, promulgated by Communists.  All Americans are middle-class (except for the welfare poor).  Make America great again!

 

From Guardian U.K.

 

How should we define working class, middle class and upper class?

 

From Investopedia

The Income Classes

The Upper Class

At the top of the income classes is the upper class. There is no single definition of whom this includes. Many think of the upper class in terms of the 1%. To be in the richest 1% nationally, a household needs to have the annual income of at least $389,436, according to the Economic Policy Institute. But one could argue that the upper class is larger than that if you look at America as a whole.

The Upper Middle Class

According to census data from 2015, 6.1% of households bring in $200,000 and higher every year and 14.1% bring in between $100,000 and $150,000. This is the upper middle class.

An Urban Institute paper argued that what they referred to as upper middle class, or those with a three-person household income between $100,000 and $350,000, has grown from 12.9% of the population in 1979 to 29.4% in 2014. It found that people with higher incomes saw their earnings grow faster than those with lower incomes.

"The idea that the real divide is between ordinary members of the bottom 99% and the rich 1% is a dangerous one, since it makes it easier for those in the upper middle class to convince themselves they are in the same economic boat as the rest of America; they’re not," wrote Nathan Joo and Richard V. Reeves of the Brookings Institution.

The Middle Middle Class and Lower Middle Class

Given that "upper middle class" turns out to be a synonym for wealthy, the true middle class includes the middle middle class and the lower middle class.

The Census Bureau says that 41.5% of American households brought in between $35,000 and $100,000 in 2015. Twenty-six percent of American households earn more than that and 32% earn less. While this gives us a good idea of the incomes of the average American middle class household, the definitions of this group vary.

The Urban Institute defined the middle class as adults with size-adjusted household incomes of between $30,000 and $100,000 for families of three.

The Pew Research Center defines the middle-income category as including adults with family-of-three equivalent incomes between two-thirds and double the national median. This brings the range from $37,666 to $113,000 according to current levels. To see where you fit in, use the Pew calculator to make your household’s income equivalent to that of a three-person household (the whole number nearest to the average size of a U.S. household, which was 2.5 in 2014).

President Trump is right: the middle class is shrinking. This group used to make up the vast majority of the American population, but now stands at roughly 50% of the American population, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. (See also: Why the American Middle Class is Shrinking)

And there's one more group in the middle class. Those belonging to the lower middle class do not live in poverty, but they are often one misfortune away from being hurtled below the poverty line. Brookings Institution defined this group as including those with income between 100 and 250% of the federal poverty level, or between $18,871 and $47,177 for a family of three, according to the current numbers.

The Poverty Level

The lowest class includes any American household that falls under the poverty line, meaning families or individuals who don't earn enough money to meet their basic needs. The Census Bureau estimates that about 14% of the U.S. population (approximately 43 million people) live below the poverty line and fall into this class today.

The current official poverty threshold is an income of $24,257 per year for a family of four and $18,871 for a family of three. This figure has often been hotly debated because many poor Americans live in urban areas that have a high cost of living, making it likely that people earning more would fit the definition of poverty in a high-cost city or region.

 

From thebalance.com (10/28/17)

Middle-class income is between 67 percent and 200 percent of the average median income. That's according to the Pew Research Center. There's no official U.S. government definition of middle-class income, as there is of the federal poverty level.

The average median income is exactly in the middle of the range of incomes. Half of Americans make more and the other half make less. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the average median income was $59,036 per household in 2016.

A household is any group of people who live together. 

Using the Pew Research percentages, that means households making less than $39,554 are low income. Households earning at least $118,072 are high income. 

Current Middle-Class Income Range

What proportion of the 125.8 million U.S. households falls into each income range? The Census Bureau ranges don't coincide exactly with the Pew definitions, but this will give you a general idea. 

The table below shows that 32 percent of households are low income. They earn less than $35,000 a year. They fall within Pew's low-income range of $0-$37,866 per year. Within this low-income group are those who live below the federal poverty line. That means 22 percent of all households earn less than $25,000 a year.

Around 42 percent of households are middle class. They earn between $35,000 and $100,000 a year.

A little more than 26 percent of households earn more than $100,000 a year.

That's similar to the Pew high-income group that makes at least $113,032 annually. The Census Bureau considers high-income households to be the 12.3 percent who earn over $150,000.

Most politicians label high-income households as the 6.1 percent who make over $200,000. Both President Obama and President Trump used $200,000 as the minimum for their high-income tax rates.

These households paid more in Obamacare taxes. They would pay a 33 percent tax rate under Trump's tax plan.

 

Household Income Range

Millions of Households

Percent of Total

Comments

Less than $15,000

  14.1

11.2%

Federal poverty level

$15,000 - $24,999

  12.1

  9.6%

$25,000 - $34,999

  11.9

  9.4%

Low income

$35,000 - $49,999

  16.3

12.9%

Middle class

$50,000 - $74,999

  21.5

17.0%

Median

$75,000 - $99,999

  15.5

12.3%

Middle class

$100,000 - $149,999

  17.8

14.1%

Upper middle class and high income

$150,000 - $199,999

    8.3

  6.6%

High income

$200,000+

    8.8

  7.0%

Obama, Trump high income

TOTAL

126.3

100%

 

 

(Source: "2017 Household Income Survey, Table HINC-01," U.S. Census.)

 

How the Pew Research Center Measures Middle Class Income

 

How does Pew determine middle class? It starts with the U.S. Census data on median income per household. (A household is any group of people living together.) Most reports on income also use this measurement.

Pew then created different middle-class standards for each "metropolitan statistical area." These are Census Bureau areas that correspond to cities. The Pew reports use 229 of them that add up to 76 percent of the nation's population.

Why does Pew break the national income averages down by city?

This is because the cost of living varies so much throughout the nation. For example, if you live in San Francisco, a $250,000 household income isn’t upper class. That's because of the cost of living. About $65,000 goes toward taxes alone. It costs $1.5 million to get a house in a decent neighborhood. As a result, a middle-class income in San Francisco is much higher than the national median.

That's why you should look at both national and local income levels before determining if you are middle class. This CNN middle-class income calculator will tell you how you rank in your city. It's based on the Pew Research Center's analysis.

Are You in the Middle Class?

You are in a middle-class household if you earn between $39,554 and $118,072 a year. But those ranges mean different lifestyles depending on the number of people living in the household.

That's why Pew Research breaks out middle-class income ranges for individuals, couples, and families. In 2014, individuals were middle class if they earned between $24,173 and $72,521 for individuals. For couples, it was between $34,186 and $102,560 earnings per year. For a family of four related people, it was between $48,347 and $145,014 income per year. Pew Research hasn't yet provided 2015 figures. 

According to a Pew survey, people think they are poorer than they are. Forty percent said they were lower middle-class or poor. Only 32 percent actually are. Forty-four percent of Americans thought they were middle class. Only 16 percent admit to being rich, whereas 26 percent are. 

The Pew survey said Americans feel less affluent than they did before the Great Recession. In 2008, more than half (53 percent) said they were middle class. Only 25 percent said they were poor. 

Reports of living standards in other parts of the world also make Americans feel less rich in comparison. Europeans enjoy six-week vacations. Canadians have free health care. Swedes receive paid time off to care for newborns

 

(More!) From Pew Research (5/11/16)

Are you in the American middle class? Find out with our income calculator!

By Richard Fry and Rakesh Kochhar

About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in 2014, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. In percentage terms, 51% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 20% in upper-income households.

Our updated calculator below lets you find out which group you are in – first compared with other adults in your metropolitan area and among American adults overall, and then compared with other adults in the U.S. similar to you in education, age, race or ethnicity, and marital status.

Pew Research Center’s new analysis shows that the American middle class lost ground in the vast majority of metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2014, and the shares of adults in the lower- and upper-income ranks rose in most areas. There was more movement into the upper-income tier in about half the areas, while in the other half there was more movement downward.