the DON JONES INDEX…

 

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

  5/22/23…    15,050.64

  5/15/23…    15,026.13

   6/27/13…    15,000.00

 

(THE DOW JONES INDEX:  5/22/23... 33,426.83;  5/15/23... 33,300,62;  6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

LESSON for May 22, 2023 – “MOTHER (not america, but...) BELARUS?”

 

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.

Around the world and in America, too, children gave cards and gifts their fathers had gotten for them, some of the fathers taking wives and, sometimes, whole families out to dinner.  Gaudy sentiments were expressed.  Flower shop and candymakers reaped profits.  Romantic or domestic comedies aired on broadcast, cable television, streamed of DVD’d; grown up children texted or messaged Mom on their devices.

Proclamations were issued, celebrating the 109th anniversary of the holiday.

Back to work today, politicians in the Carolinas showered mothers in their states, too – mandatory childbearing, enforced by States, Deep or Shallow.  Despite polling showing that even the red states were, at least, concerned about the overturning of Roe v. Wade, North Carolina passed a law cutting the term limit for termination pregnancies from twenty weeks to twelve and, after the Governor’s veto, passed it again by an overwhelming veto.  Jealous South Carolinians responded by criminalizing abortion after six weeks, whether or not Mother was even aware that she was pregnant.

More babies.  More balloons.  More boxed chocolates and flowers.

More bills.

Among the provisions of the North Carolina veto override, one has been hailed (albeit in whispers) by feminists and liberals... the obligation of working fathers to either take care of, at least, pay child support payments to the mother of a fetus which they would otherwise have supported aborting.  (If paternity, however, can be proven and the deserting parent located and sanctioned... the legal complications will be significant and – perhaps as a posthumous tribute to Jerry Springer or the assorted paternity court “reality” shows populating dayting television – and vexing.)  The ranks of working single mothers are already high and... should House Speaker Kevin Mac’s “red line” ultimatum (below) to either compel recipients of the various forms of financial aid now in effect... welfare, food stamps, HUD subsidies and the like... to work for their charity or let the economy debt ceiling collapse and crash... there will be many, many more of them.

Childcare (and its cost) will become at issue here if any debt ceiling compromise honors K-Mac’s red line.

 

Further bans upon abortion – Saturday, the legislature in Nebraska became the latest to outlaw the procedure after a relatively modest twelve weeks, even making allowances for rape, incest and the mother’s health... much to the anger of the more militant right-to-life advocates.

A desperate woman travels to the Netherlands to buy abortion pills from India.  At home, women, liberals and Democrats predictably took to the streets with loud demonstrations but, as of the present, with little violence and only a few arrests.  Family care clinics obediently closed up shop.

 

Mother’s Day, a commentary in a recent Old Farmer’s Almanac begins, was the consequence of a prototypical women’s movement to, reported Heidi Stonehill (May 4th, Attachment One), intended better the lives of Americans. “Its forgotten origins spring from two lifelong activists who championed efforts toward better health, welfare, and peace.”. 

Who Invented Mother’s Day?

“The creation of a national Mother’s Day,” Stonehill informs, “is primarily attributed to three women: Ann Reeves Jarvis, Ann’s daughter, Anna M. Jarvis and Julia Ward Howe (otherwise known as the author and composer of the famous Civil War anthem, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which was first published in February 1862).

Ann Reeves Jarvis

“Known as “Mother Jarvis,” Ann Reeves Jarvis was a young Appalachian homemaker who taught Sunday school lessons. She also was a lifelong activist who, in the mid-1800s, had organized “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” in West Virginia to combat unsanitary living conditions. Reeves Jarvis was concerned about the high infant mortality rate, especially pervasive in Appalachia, and,” according to Ms. Stonehill, “wanted to educate and help mothers who needed it the most.

“During the Civil War, Mother Jarvis had also organized women’s brigades, encouraging women to help without regard for which side their men had chosen. After the war, she proposed a Mothers’ Friendship Day to promote peace between former Union and Confederate families.”

Anna M. Jarvis

After her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died in 1905, Miss Anna Jarvis from Philadelphia wished to memorialize her mother’s life and started campaigning for a national day to honor all mothers. 

Anna’s ideas were less about public service and more about simply honoring the role of motherhood and the sacrifices made in the home. She bombarded public figures and various civic organizations with telegrams, letters, and in-person discussions. She addressed groups large and small. At her own expense, she wrote, printed, and distributed booklets extolling her idea.

After promoting memorials in West Virginia and Philadelphia, where the Mayor proclaimed a local Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May, Representative J. Thomas Heflin of Alabama and Senator Morris Sheppard of Texas presented a joint resolution to Congress that Mother’s Day be observed nationwide. The resolution was passed by both houses.

“In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill designating the second Sunday in May as a legal holiday to be called “Mother’s Day”—dedicated “to the best mother in the world, your mother.”

Julia Ward Howe

Author of the famous “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, published in 1862, Howe called for a “Mother’s Day for Peace” after the Civil War, dedicated to the celebration of peace and the eradication of war. As expressed in her “Mother’s Day Proclamation” of 1870, Howe felt that “mothers should gather to prevent the cruelty of war and the waste of life since mothers of mankind alone bear and know the cost.”

Howe succeeded in getting a Mother’s Day implemented in Boston and other locations, but the holiday “died a quick death in the years preceding World War I.”

A Bittersweet Legacy

Anna would eventually come to regret her promotion of Mother’s Day – dismayed to see it “become more commercialized with the sending of greeting cards and flowers.”

 

Olivia Waxman, reporting for Time on the occasion of Mother’s Day five years ago, considered the origins of the holiday “surprisingly sad”.  (Time, April 25, 2018 12:28 pm edt | originally published: May 11, 2017 12:00 pm edt. Attachment Two.)

“(W)hat the elder Jarvis had probably had in mind was something different than what her daughter eventually brought to reality,” Waxman posited, citing evidence that the original idea was for a “Mothers’ Day” — a day for mothers, plural, not a day for one’s own mother — on which mothers would get together for a day of service to help out other mothers who were less fortunate than they were, according to Katharine Lane Antolini, an assistant professor of history and gender studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College and author of Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Struggle for the Control of Mother’s Day.

“Her experience of motherhood had been infused with sadness,” recalled Waxman of the elder Jarvis - of the 13 children that she bore, only four lived to adulthood. “Her story was not uncommon; an estimated 15 to 30% of infants in that Appalachian region died before their first birthday throughout the 19th and early 20th century, largely due to epidemics that were spread by poor sanitary conditions, according to Antolini’s book.”  (See Attachments on infant and maternal mortality below.)

Anna never bore children and may have wanted a more “uplifting tone” than what her own mother and Howe had envisioned... “She didn’t want it to be turned into a beggars’ day,” says Antolini. “She thought even poor mothers were rich if they had their kids’ love.”

And for someone who started such a happy day, her life ended in a sad way. Her Mother’s Day campaign was funded primarily by her inheritance, and she came to resent the the fact that florists and candy makers were making lots of money from the idea without crediting her. Jarvis came to feel that the day was being used as “a means of profiteering,” as the New York Times reported on May 18, 1923. 

 

Seventy five years after Jarvis died in a Pennsylvania poorhouse after her “long and fruitless campaign to excise” the holiday she had founded four decades earlier from the American calendar, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, author of “Fool Proof” and contributor to the liberal Slate webzine, asserted that... all of the balloons and candy and flowers to the contrary, “America’s mothers are suckers”... “mother-suckers” at that!  (May 14, 2023, Attachment Three) 

Slate also concurred that Jarvis resented what she saw as the deep betrayal of commercialization. “The telegraph companies with their ready-made greetings, the florists with their high-pressure campaigns and the awful prices, and the candy manufacturers and greeting card manufacturers have made a lucrative racket out of my ideas,” she complained, furious that Americans were “placating their mothers with chocolates instead of respect.”

Respect was in short supply but, once the plague took hold in 2020, obligations increased and it really “felt like moms had been left holding the bag. The pandemic laid bare an American predicament: When a society insists that caring is for suckers, someone has to play the fool. Or, as a headline in the New York Times put it: In an emergency, Americans Turned to Their Usual Backup Plan: Mothers.”

Waxman, moreover suggests that the cloying nature of Mother’s Day is, in fact, a conspiracy by those agents of the Darkside or Deep State or what have you... men!... who still earn more and dominate more (see Attachments below on equality status) and gloss over their oppression with Hallmark cards and roses, not “...reproductive rights, or affordable child care, or safe schools” alrhough they might receive “a pamphlet on active shooter drills to practice at home.”

Adrienne Rich, feminist poet and essayist, wrote of early motherhood, “Patriarchy would seem to require not only that women shall assume the major burden of pain and self-denial for the furtherance of the species, but that a majority of that species—women—shall remain essentially unquestioning and unenlightened.”

In other words, “there is widespread suspicion that women might cynically use the moral imperative of motherhood to sucker others into paying their way.”

 

Waxman also notes the suspicion among some, that women... especially racial and economic minorities... are exploiting the welfare system to breed children solely for the government check.  (This appear to be the reasoning behind the Republican “red line” as would require Americans receiving Federal benefits such as Medicare and food stamps... predominantly women, often single mothers whose husbands or “boyfriends” sought other pastures... to work for their charity.  The childcare issue and concomitant expense goes unmentioned – although perhaps a Federal commitment to hire more childcare workers at at least substistance wages might find its way onto the bargaining table.

 

Another suggestion from the DJI – if MAGAmericans hate paying for food stamps to keep “those people” alive and breeding, perhaps an alternative (which would reduce government spending, at least somewhat) would be to keep the program, but remove subsidies from some items commonly termed “junk food”... candy and corn chips and Twinkies and Cheetos and Coke.  Maybe even invest in local groceres and farmer’s markets to provide healthy produce as might not rot the brains of children already starting at a disadvantage.  It would cut spending... but would K-Mac accept it as fulfilling his “red line” demands?

 

In addition to the minorities and the poor, Mother’s Day involves certain traumas and troubles for the families of what we might prefer to call “different” family groupings, as might include either blended or co-parented unions, children with one absent parent... whether through the military or a mobile job like the truck drivers and airline workers in such short supply – even incarcerated fathers and, here and there, mothers.

Options.org asks Don Jones to consider another outlier group... the children of LGBTQ parents.

“Families today don’t all look the same, like they did in 1950s TV shows—and that’s a good thing,” say the Optioneers (Attachment Four). “More children than ever are being raised by single parents, adoptive parents, same-sex parents, or in blended families.”

Mothers’ Day can get a bit... er... confusing for the child with two moms (or daddies), so Amanda Hopping-Winn, chief program officer at the Family Equality Council, recommends that we not assume every family has a mother and a father, period.

“Mother’s Day can be a challenging time for these families, as it can be for anyone struggling to become parents. It reminds us of the family we so desperately desire but have not yet achieved.”

Options asks Americans of all genders, races, faiths and convictions to become advocates for unity and diversity.  Any parent can talk to schools about planned Mother’s Day or gendered activities—not only LGBTQ parents. “Another way to include all families is to ask store managers for gender-neutral or otherwise inclusive holiday cards. If you see some at your card store, let them know you appreciate it.”

Schools can have gender-neutral Parents’ Day or Family Day instead of Mother’s and Father’s Days, hand out bad books (except in Florida, perhaps) and also be sensitive to children who have lost a parent through death... or maybe divorce, or some other reason.

 

The holiday, of late, has taken hits from partisans of both sides of the political spectrum.  As “woke” concepts like diversity and a heightened sensitivy towards the victim class ooze into the mainstream (in some places more than other), some critics... perhaps echoing Anna Jarvis in her later years... hold reservations about Mother’s Day not only for the dollars and cents sensibilities of retailers, but also for the effects of other families’ celebrations on hidden or even pariah classes.

On the other side of the dime, the religious and radical right has its own issues with Mother’s Day.  Only the most severe and most extreme taskmaster object to the commercialism and celebrations in general... in fact, their veneration of the Second Sunday in May for their own families, and for the rest of the adult (and, not infrequently) underaged parents is paramount, even when parenting coerced by church and state.  Would-be or failed abortive mothers who tell their stories of learning to accept, then love, their children are numerous – some gleefully exploited, as are expressions of regret, even suicides, among those who opted for freedom over duty.

 

The concern for mother’s moral and infants’ physical health, however, lags somewhat behind the enthusiasm that has propelled the pro-life crusaders to victory after victory in the courts, at the ballot box and in state and local legislatures coast to coast (well almost, none of the Pacific states has yet prohibited or reduced abortion terms or conditions, so the Westward expansion of the prohibitions stops at state capitals like Boise or Cheyenne,

For the time being, according to U.S. News and World Report, decisions on abortion (surgical or chemical and, perhaps sooner than some might wish for or dread, contraception) have been returned to the states (the proposed nationwide criminalization is, almost all agree, dead so long as President Joe holds his veto power), “and in many cases, the issue is already heading back to court.”  USNWP calls the new landscape “volatile”, and the evolving situation means that access to abortion in some states is restricted, in part, by complexity alone.  (May 8th, Attachment Five)

Mail-order medications, for example - access to the pills at both physical stores and online pharmacies, and has sparked legal questions, particularly in the most restrictive states. “An analysis by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, found that medication abortion – often a two-drug combination of mifepristone and misoprostol – accounted for more than half of all facility-based abortions in 2020.

If mifepristone is taken off the market, medication-assisted abortion will remain available through misoprostol-only regimens, which are said to be somewhat less effective than the two-drug combination. Abortion rights advocates are also challenging state-level restrictions on access to abortion pills in both North Carolina and West Virginia. In early May, abortion clinics in Virginia, Montana and Kansas filed a lawsuit in additional attempts to preserve access to the drug.

A recent poll found that there is widespread confusion about the legality of medication abortion.

(The USNews.com site has an extensive addenda of charts and graphs and summaries of state-by-state protocols here.)

 

Pro-life legislation occasionally results in pro-not-life for mothers and infants, complicating and enhancing the already questionable American standings on infant and maternal mortality.

The former is defined by the World Population Review as “a population-related metric that monitors the deaths of newborn (and sometimes unborn) children... typically expressed as the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births.”  (Attachment Six)

Codifying the rather obvious conclusion that global poverty correlates with infant mortality (as shown by the charts and graphs of the Attachment) WPR lists the top causes of infant mortality as being “neonatal encephalopathy (problems with brain function due to lack of oxygen during birth), infections, complications of preterm birth, lower respiratory infections, and diarrheal diseases.”  (Since the last survey, war also has to be listed among the root causes, as if some of its collateral damage, like starvation.) Before the Ukraine war and the plague, collective global infant mortality rate had significantly decreased in recent decades, “dropping from approximately 140 per 1,000 live births in 1950-55 to 52.8 in 2000 and on to 27.4 in 2020.”

UNICEF, an agency of the United Nations concerned with the health, nutrition and prospects of childen and, by extension, their mothers on a worldwide basis surveyed infant mortality worldwide and found the most deadly places in which to be born are sub-Saharan African nations with Sierra Leone  topping the kill list – ranked over 80.  The safest countries are largely white, rich and cold (although Singapore and Japan make the top ten list) with Iceland leading the way with a mortality rate of 1.54.

Infant mortality in the United States was 5.44 in 2020. “This rate was 50th among the 195 countries and territories measured, and significantly higher than in dozens of other developed countries such as Sweden (2.15), Japan (1.82), and Australia (3.14),” although a wider definition of “infant death” may be lowering the Americans’ score.

The American ranking is slightly better than that of Uruguay, slightly worse than that of Communist China.

UNICEF’s own stats on infant and maternal mortality found the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) declined by 34 per cent – from 342 deaths to 223 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to UN inter-agency estimates. This translates into an average annual rate of reduction of 2.1 per cent. “While substantive, this is about one third of the 6.4 per cent annual rate needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births” that wish-listers wish to invoke into being by 2030.

“Though there has been significant progress in reducing global MMR between 2000 and 2015, the numbers have been stagnant when averaging rates of reduction between 2016 and 2022,” the causes being unstated but probably attributable to plague and war. In most regions, the rate of reduction stalled “and in Western Europe and North America, and Latin America and the Caribbean, MMR increased over the 2016-2022 period.”

 

As regards the childbearing mortality rates of mothers... maternal death, also called maternal mortality... as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy”... there has been the good news, and then, there is the bad.

UNICEF has been discovering, compiling and ranking statistical data of maternal mortality by country over two decades, encompassing three separate surveys commissioned by the United Nations and other reckoning bodies, principally the World Health Organization (WHO)... a base in 2000 AD, a second in 2017 and the third in 2020 (just before the advent of the plague). 

(Some nations did not provide data or, for other reasons, were not ranked for 2020.)

Maternal mortality refers, as defined by UNICEF refers to deaths due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth (no deadline given). From 2000 to 2020, the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) declined by 34 per cent – from 342 deaths to 223 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to UN inter-agency estimates. This translates into an average annual rate of reduction of 2.1 per cent. While substantive, this is about one third of the 6.4 per cent annual rate needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030 – according to the Unicef Attachment Seven; (also refer to footnotes at the Wikipedia website, below)

The maternal mortality ratio is used as a criterion for the quality of medical care in a country. The global rate is 211 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017 (2017 or latest available year for some countries).[2]

The number of women and girls who died each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth declined from 451,000 in 2000 to 287,000 in 2020. “These improvements are particularly remarkable in light of rapid population growth in many of the countries where maternal deaths are highest. Still, almost 800 women are dying each day from complications in pregnancy and childbirth, which is equivalent to one every two minutes.”

“Maternal death can be caused directly by postpartum haemorrhage, pre-eclampsia and hypertensive disorders, pregnancy-related infections, and complications of unsafe abortion,” UNICEF contends, “as well as indirectly by pre-existing medical conditions aggravated by the pregnancy.”

Lower rates of maternal death occur where pregnant women before and during the birthing are “attended by skilled health personnel such as doctors, nurses or midwives. As complications require prompt access to quality obstetric services, these skilled health personnel, who are regularly supervised and have the proper equipment and supplies, can avert maternal death by providing life-saving drugs such as antibiotics, blood transfusions, caesarean sections, and other surgical interventions.”

Access to such assistance, medication and emergency care is, it goes without saying, contingent upon wealth.

As with infant mortality, it should come as no surprise that the white, Western and better-off nations performed better as regards to maternal mortality.  Large inequalities exist between  regions of the world and countries within those regions...in 2020, (sub-Saharan Africa had 545 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births as compared to 4 in Australia and New Zealand. In fact, sub-Saharan Africa alone accounted for 70% of global maternal deaths in 2020.)

Lifetime risk of maternal death

The lifetime risk of maternal death is the probability that a 15-year-old girl will die from complications of pregnancy or childbirth over her lifetime; it takes into account both the maternal mortality ratio and the total fertility rate (average number of births per woman during her reproductive years under current age-specific fertility rates). Thus, in a high-fertility setting, a woman faces the risk of maternal death multiple times, and her lifetime risk of death will be higher than in a low-fertility setting. Similar to maternal mortality ratio, the lifetime risk of maternal death varies largely across countries. In 2020, the lifetime risk of maternal death in low income countries as a whole was 1 in 49, compared to 1 in 5,300 in high-income countries. Among regions, women in sub-Saharan Africa face the highest lifetime risk (1 in 41), which is approximately 268 times higher than in Western Europe (1 in 11,000).

The lifetime risk of maternal death ranges from 1 in 5,300 in high income countries to 1 in 49 in low income countries.

Sources: WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and The World Bank, Trends in Maternal Mortality: 2000 to 2020, WHO, Geneva, 2023.

 

UNICEF also compiled statistics on the “lifetime” risk of maternal mortality – meaning “the probability that a 15-year-old girl will die from complications of pregnancy or childbirth over her lifetime; it takes into account both the maternal mortality ratio and the total fertility rate (average number of births per woman during her reproductive years under current age-specific fertility rates).”

Similar to maternal mortality ratio, the lifetime risk of maternal death varies largely across countries. In 2020, the lifetime risk of maternal death in low income countries as a whole was 1 in 49, compared to 1 in 5,300 in high-income countries; again, women in sub-Saharan Africa facing the highest lifetime risk (1 in 41), which is approximately 268 times higher than in Western Europe (1 in 11,000).

 

@remove box via A

 

The @american journal of maternal care? (AJMC) and Commonwealth Fund surveyed eleven “developed” nations in December, 2020... just before the full effects of the plague became notable... and determined that the United States had “the highest maternal mortality rate, a relative undersupply of maternity care providers, and (was) the only country not to guarantee access to provider home visits or paid parental leave in the postpartum period.”  (Attachment Eight)  Maternal deaths were found to be increasing in the United States since 2000, and although 700 pregnancy-related deaths occur each year, “two-thirds of these deaths are considered to be preventable,” according to the OECD and CDC.

 

But not for lack of (national) wealth.  Compared with any other wealthy nation, the United States also spent the highest percentage of its gross domestic product on health care.  The United States (and Canada) “have the lowest overall supply of midwives and obstetrician-gynecologists (OB-GYNs) — 12 and 15 providers per 1000 live births, respectively,” whereas all other countries have a supply that is between 2 and 6 times greater.

The role of midwives has been found to be comparable or preferable to physician-led care in terms of mother and baby outcomes and more efficient use of health care resources. WHO recommends midwives as an evidence-based approach to reducing maternal mortality, citing deliveries in the Netherlands and U.K.

 Midwives differ from OB-GYNs in that they help manage a normal pregnancy, assist with childbirth, and provide care during the postpartum period. In contrast, OB-GYNs are physicians trained to identify issues and intervene should abnormal conditions arise. OB-GYNs typically only provide care in hospital-based settings and are, therefore, far more costly – either to the family or to the insurance company or government paying the bills.  “Midwife services are not uniformly covered by private insurance plans in the United States, whereas both midwifery and obstetrician care services are covered by universal health insurance in some other countries.”

Moreover, the abortion controversy has impacted even those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term – inasmuch as, in some states, “appeals courts have ruled to end Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood clinics, which provide a number of health services to low-income women, including pregnancy services such as postpartum care,” thus perversely (and enthusiastically) compelling some who would otherwise have and raise children to seek abortions.

Other impacted services include mental health (including infant homicides and maternal suicides), depression and breastfeeding dysfunction.

The Commonwealth Fund report also found that the United States “was the only high-income country that does not guarantee paid leave to mothers after childbirth. All other 10 countries guarantee at least a 14-week paid leave time from work while several provide more than a year of maternity leave.”

“Addressing systemic racism so that Black and Indigenous people are not at risk when they are pregnant is critical to reducing U.S. maternal mortality, while offering paid maternity leave to all birthing people would contribute to their health and the health of their babies, as well as strengthen the financial security of families,” wrote Laurie Zephyrin, MD, and Roosa Tikkanen of The Commonwealth Fund in STAT News.

 

 

WHO defines maternal death, also called maternal mortality, as "the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes." So defined, a Wikipedia ranking of the best and worst countries for maternal mortality finds that, incredibly, the dictatorship of Belarus ranks first.  (Attachment Nine)

 

Some peanuts from the Quora Forum gallery attempted to explain why Belarus (Attachment Ten) outperformed the rest of the world... including the United States (one of the few nations that got worse in 2017 and worser still by 2020 – tumbling down the charts into a tie with Lebanon and Malaysia (and only slightly better than female-unfriendly Iran!).

“Belarus certainly has some problems but basic healthcare in that country (and that covers very well maternity and child health) is universal, inexpensive and paid for by taxation,” posted PR.

“Access to health care and good nutrition is very irregular in the US. A lot of women actually get no prenatal care because they simply cannot afford it.”  (LM)

“Belarus has good healthcare system. We here in Ukraine go to Belarus for complex surgeries, such as transplantation.” (KY... in 2020, unfortunately, before the war)

It’s not rocket science, it’s money.” (TK)

 

An earlier (2017) report by globaleconomy.com found Italy, Norway and Poland matching the Belarus MMR... the United States ranking an even lower 55th, sandwiched between Ukraine and Russia.  Here, other factors were included, including “fertility, birth attendants, and GDP measured using purchasing power parities (PPPs).”  (Attachment Eleven, with link to a more detailed Economic outlook around the world.

 

Gender Equality (and the GII index)

The empowering of Church Police to regulate and enforce childbearing has not exactly had a similar revival in the realm of childrearing, nor maternal health, nor enhancing the status of women (as well as other “pariah” citizens of the wrong ethnic, religious or sexual preference status as well as families who have undergone divorce, incarceration or even those where a parent... usually the father but, increasingly, mothers... has a working schedule that requires him or her to be absent for along period of time.  Hollywood actors on location may or may not deserve a lack of sympathy from the virtuous... perhaps the writers’ strike will enable some to enjoy, or at least experience, more down home time... but other absentees include busy, globe-trotting biznessfolk (with money to hire caregivers and takers) long-haul truck drivers (who, mostly, do not) and members of the military.

The World Population Review, of late, may have ruffled some feathers among Old Testament upholding owls, chickenhawks or Jim Crows by claiming that gender equality across categories including education, employment, health, politics, and economic participation is not only a cultural responsibility, but a necessary and crucial part of the healthiest, most optimized economies.

Sustainable development goals and other economic targets are often unachievable if half of a country’s population is hampered by restricted opportunities. In order to improve gender equality, many governments are implementing policies that provide talent development, diversify the leadership pool, and provide support to families and caregivers of every gender,” they recommend, as introductory to the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI), most recently compiled by the World Economic Forum in 2021.a survey of 156 countries and territories around the world.  (Attachment Twelve)

The top ten countries including the predictable Nordic nations (Iceland, again as Number One), but also a few wild cards such as Namibia (#6) and Rwanda (#7).  The worst ten were all either Islamic Republics or other African nations where Allah holds full or partial sway... from Afghanistan #1 (or, rather, #156) to Saudi Arabia (#147).

The WPR indexed four categories of gender equality/inequality: health being one, the others being Economic Opportunity, Education and Political Power.

Despite the accession of Vice President Kamala Harris, the United States ranked low on the “political power” index – then again, 81 nations “have never had a female head of state.”

The plague was blamed for significant drop-offs in the “Economic Participation and Opportunity” category; WPR noting that females were “more likely to lose jobs as a result of the pandemic and slower to regain those jobs once pandemic-related restrictions were lifted.”

Overall, the United States’ Gender Equality Index (or Gender Inequality Index – GII) was 76.3%, a ranking of 31st, ahead of the economically dis-equal Dutch, but slightly behind Putin-coveted Moldova.  (As also customary, Afghanistan ranked worst in the world... but did, strangely, rank higher in women’s political power than not only most Islamic states but democracies like Greece and (sort of) Hungary as well as world powers Russia and China.

 

An earlier (2017) GII study, using slightly different criteria, but also incorporating the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), which was also introduced in the 2010 Human Development Report, “and can be interpreted as a percentage loss of human development due to shortcomings in the included dimensions.”

(See Attachment Thirteen for ORIGINS of the two measurements, DIMENSIONS (the 2017 GII encompassing reproductive health, empowerment, and labor market participation but not education) and the convoluted and somewhat confusing CALCULATIONS which the compilers admitted had corrected inequalities and errors in the 2010-2011 indices.)

“The GII is a complex indicator with many components that are difficult for some to interpret or calculate,” they added, so obsessives should beware.

“As there is no country with perfect gender equality,” the 2019 survey monkeys allowed, “all countries suffer some loss of human development due to gender inequality.” The difference in dimensions used in the GII and HDI meant that the GII was not interpreted as a loss of HDI, but had its own rank and value separate from the HDI – both figures being included in the WIKI rankings.

Switzerland and Norway, at that time, ranked Numbers One and Two in both (only the GII numerical tally was included), Iceland lagged behind in 9th place (GII) but was fourth in the HDI.  The United States, which tied for 46th with Moldova in the GII, did rise to a more respectable 17th in HDI.  The then-semi-democratic Afghanistan was a few steps up from the bottom in those pre-Taliban days... Yemen ranked 162nd and worst in the GII, Niger trailing at 189th in the HDI.

Older rankings followed form, although South Korea joined the cold, white countries in both categories and Taiwain ranked among the top five in the GII in 2008 and 2012 before being excluded due to pressure from Communist China.

 

The OECD@ scolded its member countries to “step up efforts to boost gender equality: (Attachment Fourteen) and has published a manisto on the “disadvantages and barriers in most spheres of social and economic life” still faced by women and girls.

Policies advocated include “gender mainstreaming and budgeting, reforms to increase fathers’ involvement in parental leave and childcare, pay transparency initiatives to tackle gender pay gaps, and systems to address gender-based violence. It extends the perspective on gender equality to include foreign direct investment, nuclear energy and transport.”

These half a hundred wealthier-than-nations also published a data table for “Gender wage gap, Employees, Percentage, 2022 or latest available” which (without explaining what these numbers mean) situated the United States at the higher (or lower) regions of the spectrum.  (We’ll try to find out more about what this means regarding the status of women, children and different sorts of families when and if possible.)

 

Back from the mysteries of think tank mathematics to the nuts and bolts and chocolate cherries of Mother’s Day, a rather unusual forum was convened by Oxfam, customarily known as a lobby for food production and distribution among the starving classes.

“In anticipation of Mother’s Day on May 14, we convened a group of women at Oxfam who have expertise around gender, care, and labor policies—as well as feelings about being a woman in the world today,” (Attachment Fifteen, May 12th) a “fascinating and illuminating conversation about a holiday with deep, complicated, and emotional roots,” they promised.

Unfortunately, they did not include curricula vitae upon the participants, but Joneses who find a panelist’s remarks informative (or outrageous) can probably find more data on Google.

 

“I think it's fair to say that Mother's Day has become a weird cultural touch point for us all. I do like the history of Mother's Day in the US, which has to do with anti-militarism–but it has obviously mutated into something that's about commercialization...” (Mary Babic)

“I've been reading Caring for America, which is the history of federal funding for caregivers, and the creation of the home caregiving system. The ways in which home caregivers were excluded from federal policy is very aligned with the work that we're doing–but it also brings to mind the history of Mother's Day as honoring the sacrifice of women sending their sons to war...” (Kaitlyn Henderson)

But what does Mother's Day mean now? I see a lot of moms saying, for Mother's Day, I just want to get away from my family. I want a day off, I want to go to the spa.  (Sarah Tuckey)

”The distinction between Mother's Day and Father's Day is fascinating; my daughter, now 21, often remarks when she sees a man with little kids, wondering that that’s still not the norm; it's moms who are constantly having the relationship with the little kids–either at home or even in a care facility; it's still a woman's role.” (Babic)

“As a kid, for Mother's Day, our gift would be...  we will cook dinner, we will do the cleaning. And for Father's Day, it would be like we're going to do an activity.”  (Henderson)

“...we don't talk about the suffering and the transformation of motherhood. We just highlight the good stuff in order to keep the society we want to keep.” (Tuckey)

 “I've heard so much about people saying, especially for the birthing parent, that one of the big components of becoming a parent is losing your identity; you become subsumed into being a parent... (you) mourn the loss of who they were as they shift into this new person.”  (Henderson)

There are obviously many proposed pieces (of) legislation that would fix a lot of these issues. For example, universal child care, and a more robust long term care system... (w)e had universal child care during World War Two; and at one point, Congress would have enacted universal child care, but it got vetoed by President Nixon.  (Rebecca Rewald)

“...things like unemployment were built around a male breadwinner, Social Security was built around a male breadwinner. Minimum wages, everything you can imagine, was built with the framework of a nuclear household where there is a male breadwinner.”  (Henderson)

 “By creating these new systems we are undoing the patriarchal social decisions that were made in the past in a really productive way, and honoring the work of women that is so often erased or disrespected or undervalued. (Rewald)

“I would really love for us to really reframe a conversation around the respect for women who are the primary breadwinners–whether partnered or not, whether they have children or not.” (Henderson)

“A lot of what motherhood is like truly is suffering, on various levels. From my own experience, the moment you have a kid, you live two truths all the time. You have so much love for a tiny little thing, but also so much fear and so much sadness...” (Tuckey)

“I have friends who feel like it's a day that recognizes the societal pressure to reproduce. And the idea that if you do not do so as a woman, you are not fulfilling your purpose of existence.”  (Henderson)

“...for generations, as our economy has industrialized and urbanized, it's all been built on the unit of a household where the kids are raised, and the elderly are cared for, and the labor is completely uncompensated. And that is the bedrock that the whole machine runs on–they make more workers, and the workers go to work, but it’s unrecognized and unpaid. (Babic)

“(And) (i)t's interesting thinking about whose motherhood has been respected in this country... motherhood was never respected for Black women, despite the fact that enslaved status followed the status of the mothers. You know, it was like motherhood was used against Black women for such a long time... (a)nd in which communities is the maternal mortality rate the highest? and the infant mortality rate the highest?” (Henderson)

“Even the act of mothering has become a privilege because you have the time and resources to do it. So many women have given birth and have children, but they don't actually get to be mothers in the fullest sense because of all of these other burdens that they have on them... So there's a lot to question about Mother's Day and what we're actually celebrating. (Rewald)

“I have the privilege of being able to reset myself so that when my family comes home at the end of the day, I can be the best mother I can be.” (Tucker)

“(W)hat if we lived in a society where one parent could make enough money to sustain a family of four? Then, one of the parents could stay home if they wanted to take care of their kids. (Rewald)

“To talk a little bit about our work at Oxfam, it’s shocking to me that our country does not guarantee paid leave after you give birth. It splits your body in two. It completely changes your body. It takes months to recover...” (Babic)

“It was really stark in the early days. I firmly believe this country needs to give the people who go through the act of carrying and then birthing a child at least six months off from everything.” (Tuckey)

“...that's particularly ironic with the abortion stuff, right? They've made it harder for you not to give birth, but it's still really hard to actually be a mother in the sense of taking care of your kids, spending time with them, right? (Rewald)

 “Do any of you want to address Marjorie Taylor Greene's recent comment about who is a mother? She was talking to a stepmother–Randi Weingarten, president of the teachers’ union–and Greene said the only person who is a mother is the one who gave birth.  (Babic)

 

And speak of the Devil(ess)... up jumped MTG with her latest proposal to solve gender issues, abortion, icky gay people and uppity minorities: split up America between the red states and the blue states.  And if the leftouts in either America complain, well, let’s just start a second Civil War!

Vociferating on the Sean Hannity show on Fox, Greene personally claimed that she didn’t want a civil war, “...but that the country was moving towards one and action needs to be taken.”

As if borrowing K-Mac’s lingo from the concurrent and conjugal debt ceiling crisis, MTG proclaimed that: "The last thing I ever want to see in America is a civil war. No one wants that — at least everyone I know would never want that — but it's going that direction, and we have to do something about it," she said.

We got another Janet Yellin here!  (Business Insider, Attachment Sixteen)

Posting to Twitter back on Presidents’ Day, she had rationalized the proposal as a “national divorce”, describing her plan as “"a legal agreement to separate our ideological and political disagreements by states while maintaining our legal union."

Howsoever tempting it may be to a baffled and beleaguered Deep State searching for a way out of its debt crisis, few Democrats concurred with MTG and even some Republicans like Utah Governor Spencer Cox called the plan “destructive and wrong and—honestly—evil."

"We don't need a divorce,” he proposed, instead, “we need marriage counseling,"

 

And the B.I. also included a slight update upon another MAGAminx, Lauren Boebert, who once told women in rocky marriages that they just need to start 'chasing Jesus' to solve their marital issues. Now she's getting divorced.

 

Among the provisions of the North Carolina veto override, one has been hailed (albeit in whispers) by feminists and liberals... the obligation of working fathers to either take care of, at least, pay child support payments to the mother of a fetus which they would otherwise have supported aborting.  (If paternity, however, can be proven and the deserting parent located and sanctioned... the legal complications will be significant and – perhaps as a posthumous tribute to Jerry Springer or the assorted paternity court “reality” shows populating dayting television – and vexing.)  The ranks of working single mothers are already high and... should House Speaker Kevin Mac’s “red line” ultimatum (below)to either compel recipients of the various forms of financial aid now in effect... welfare, food stamps, HUD subsidies and the like... to work for their charity or let the economy debt ceiling collapse and crash... there will be many, many more of them.

Childcare (and its cost) will become at issue here if any debt ceiling compromise honors K-Mac’s red line.

The circumstances, among women in poor nations and within the lower income strata of better off, predominantly Western countries like the United States, are... to use the buzzword of the media at the moment... dire.

As on most other issues of import as to the future of Don Jones, Dawn Jones and all the little American Joneses (born or  yet unborn) the blue state liberals and Democrats have been weak and wishy-washy or obsessed with symbolic nomenclature and trivia which red state conservatives (MAGA or not) are happy to foster as potentially swaying the undecided, but disgusted, swamp of moderates to their faction.  Finding hate, distraction and aggression to be a winning formula, they find themselves facing a Presidential contest between former President Donald Trump, just being himself, and others (notably yet-undeclared Florida Governor Ron DeSantis) trying to out-Trump the Trumpster and poach the ivory tusks off what would, but for the determination of the tiny “woke” blue belles, be a dead elephant in November, 2024, with a corresponding hardening of partisanship that has led to calls from some (like good ol’ MTC – Above) to restart a Second Civil War... this time within, as well as between... the national, state and local partisans.

While embattled conservatives like Trump and his McCarthy-ite copycat George Santos are busily proclaiming themselves to be broomstick-riding victims of liberal witch-hunters (the victim mentality being both objective, obsessive reality and subjective indicator of the failings of democracy in America, if not the West) the MAGAbase (itself failing to see the hypocrisy of the inter-party partisanship) is counting on the Left to do what it does best... self-destruct or compromise away its principles.  The resolution, if any, of the debt ceiling crisis (now being covered extensively in the media) may be proof of the porridge, especially if the hostage takers can win concessions like cutting Social Security and Medicare.

The world, and politics, are full of unintended consequences.  Zealots might have cause to ponder the jubilation, then jaundice, then opposition of Anna Jarvis in that Time-piece by Olivia Waxman ( Above and Attachment Two) entitled “The Surprisingly Sad Origins of Mother's Day” as closes like this...

“Antolini believes that fighting with other people for full credit for starting Mother’s Day was a key factor in Jarvis’ “bitter ending”... to end up “broke, blind, and in a sanitarium.”

She died in 1948, and was buried next to her mother.

 

UPDATES, this morning...

Nebraska banned the procedure, but it was a wimpy ban, only effective after twelve weeks and with provisions for rape, interest and the mother’s health.  Eight women in Texas have sued over that state’s more extreme anti-abortion stance which does not account for rape, incest or the mother’s health; one woman reporting she had to travel to Colorado to abort an anencephalitic fetus (that would have been born without a brain).  Perhaps a future Congressman?

 

May 15 – May 21, 2023

 

 

Monday, May 15, 2023

Dow:  33,39.60

 

 

Mother’s Day has come and gone, and now it’s National Police Week.

   Beau Wilson of Farmington, NM doesn’t respect either women or police officers or, in fact, anybody; shooting 9 people (including two cops) and killing three (including a 97 year old woman) totally randomly before the boys in blue gun him down and save New Mexicans the expense of a trial.  (Subsequent investigation reveal that he @ ).  Blue boxes, on the other hand, aren’t getting much respect either – being routinely broken open and mail stolen by organized criminals; the disorganized, going postal, committing armed robberies and the occasional murder of mail carriers.  (Authorities are posting and broadcasting warnings about “washings” – checks made out to deserving parties having the names and amounts “washed” clear with common household chemicals, then filled in by the thieves.)

   Border crisis not as “dire” as expected with daily crossings down from 6,200 to 4,200 but Gov. Abbott (R-Tx) continues busing the unwanted into blue states and cities, with Denver the newest destination.  New York converts the “iconic” Roosevelt Hotel into a shelter for the lucky; the unlucky are to be housed in school gymnasiums sparking outrage among frightened parents.

   Angry bat-wielding constituent breaks into the home of Rep. Gerry Connelley (D-Va) with an alleged bomb, but is subdued by the police. The batman is said to have a history of mental illness, as does Mister Wilson (above).  Eighth horse dies at Churchill Downs, no suspects nor motive discovered.

 

 

 

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Dow:  33,012.14

 

 

 

 

 

It’s National Barbecue Day.

  President Joe, preparing to go for the sushi in Japan with the G-7, finally meets with Speaker Kevin Mac and some others – calling the meeting “productive”.  K-Mac scoffs, reiterates his demand for spending cuts as Americans’ credit card debt (see below) approaches one trillion – up 19.2% this year and engendering a whole new bucket of scams and 150 corporate CEOs beg the politicians to settle.

   Ukraine continues routing the Russian invaders with the help of American Patriot missiles which shoot down 25 of Putin’s incoming “raining down” on Kyev, including more of their “invincible” hypersonics.   President Zelenskyy’s European Vacation garners support from Germany and, not to be left out, France and the U.K.  Sources call the Russian defeat and retreat from Bahkmut “bitter”.

   Barack Obama goes on CBS and says his family life is better than the Presidency.  And then he becomes one of five hundred Americans banned from entering Russia.  Even better, not bitter.  Virginia’s batman, meanwhile, is indicted for attempting to batter Congressman Connelly with his bat while, in caves across America, chiropterologists warn that millions of bats are dying of bat fungus – which augurs a summer plague of mosquitoes and the plagues that they carry.

 

 

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Dow:  33,420.77

 

 

 

 

 

 

Off to Japan goes President Joe after dirtying up his “clean” debt ceiling bill a little, evoking weak statements from K-Mac that a solution is now “possible”.  Biden also cancels his side trips to New Guinea and Australia as the Speaker redraws his “red line”, still insisting that assorted recipients of Federal aid work for their handouts, details still foggy.  Social Security for the over-90 crowd?  Cancer patients on Medicare?  America waits for Joe’s return and more developments.

   Home Depot reports first quarter losses.  Home invader targets National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and the Secret Service investigates the utter lack of security.

   “Reckless” paparazzi chase Harry and Meghan throught the streets of New York in a chase reminiscent of that which killed Princess Di.  Harry accuses persons unnamed of trying to kill them.  No arrests.

   Strange criminal arrested after stealing the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland.  Cannes Film Festival begins and Americn producers announce a Golden Bachelor show for the elderly aspirants.  Idiots are displaying their paychecks and bill statements on TikTok – except in Montana, the first state to ban the Chinese company... for everybody!

 

 

 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Dow:  33,535.91

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montana becomes the first state to ban Tik Tok, for everyone.  A First Amendment legal tussle is expected.  Fines and jail terms are mandated for promoters, influencers and the such, but the government is careful to say that 9 year old obsessive watchers of funny video clips will not be prosecuted, even if they are consuming Communist China propaganda.

   Other state legislatures and judiciaries are buy with other bans and prohibitions and laws.  Texas makes vaguely worded “medical care” for transgenders illegal (the “Let ‘em die!” bill).  South Carolina does their neighbors to the north by criminalizing abortion after six weeks.  Walgreens pays a $250M settlement in San Francisco for opioid prescriptions while Deutsche Bank settles with Jeffrey Epstein victims for a bargain $35M.  And one for defendants – SCOTUS unanimously rules that social media sites are not responsible for crime committed by their users.

   And there are new news flashes in old cases... Elizabeth (Theranos) Holmes loses her last appeal and must report to prison on May 30th.  No bail for leaker Jack Texiera, indictments for bride-killing drunk driver and Farmington NM mass shooter, as well as for Fentanyl Mom, who poisoned hubby then wrote a book about grief for children.  NYPD blames Meg and Harry for inciting paparazzi to reckless pursuit because... well... they ar Meg and Harry.

 

 

 

Friday, May 19, 2023

Dow:  33,426.83

 

 

 

President Joe in Japan where he talks the talk with the G-7 and will meet with a wandering President Z., also there to secure a deal to have Ukrainian pilots trained on F-16 fighter jets, to be supplied later, maybe.  It’s a pivot for the President, but he holds firm on the debt ceiling and honors three sisters... 100, 97 and 96... who survived Hiroshima.  Their recipe for longevity: “Eat rice.”  Back in the USA, Republican Congressthings are holding firm too, as default “looms”... some even upping their demand, in line with Donald Trump’s appeal to the base that default is a good thing.

   New York City pivots too... their plan to house migrants bused in from Texas in school gymnasiums so outrages parents that Mayor Adam quickly relocates them to the “historic” Midtown Hotel, which joins the “iconic” Roosevelt as a shelter.  And Alabama pivots on legislation to ban the Chinese government from owning real estate, eliminating the ban on Chinese people owning property – whereupon the bill passes, 26-7.  And SCOTUS votes 7-2 to convict (dead) Andy Warhol of plagiarizing photographers of (dead) Prince.

   And Trump gets another Republican challenger for 2024... not the anticipated Saint Ron, but Tim Scott (the black Senator from South Carolina, not Rick Scott, the cut Social Security and Medicare Senator from Florida). 

 

 

 

Saturday, May 20th, 2023

Dow:  (Closed)

 

President Joe, still in Japan, having postponed his meetings with the Asia-Pacific leaders but adding a surprise confab with Ukraine’s President Z, is accused by K-Mac of strengthening his opposition to any spending cuts, thereby “crushing” any hopes to avoid a default which, the Speaker insists, either happens over the weekend or not at all.  (He also insinuates that Biden is either planning, or should plan to remain in Tokyo forever and not to return to an America which will blame him for the “looming” default.

   Also in Japan, Zelenskyy predicts “peace will come” but celebrates, nonetheless, as Biden pivots on his denial of F-16 figher jets, agreeing to at least begin training for Ukrainian pilots (a process that will take several months). 

   And, on or about Mother’s Day, one migrant mom blames America for dening medical care for her dying eight year old, while one American mom is accused of leaving her baby in a plastic bag to die in the woods and a father, getting into the act, kills Mommy in New Jersey on Mother’s Day.

   NASA contracts with Blue Origin to develop lunar landing gear for the proposed moonshot.  Back on Earth, the busiest air travel day of the year (Memorial Day) finds the airlines struggling with shortages of pilots and support staff as well as escalating violence from psychotic parents and violent weather including a volcano in Mexico and heavy rains that provoke delays and cancellations.

  Park managers and rangers also warn that more rain leads to more rattlesnakes.

 

 

 

Sunday, May 14th, 2023

Dow:  (Closed) 

 

 

On his last day in Japan, President Joe embraces President Z. and showers him with $325M in weaponry including tanks, guns, ammo and promises to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s, to be provided later as Russia declares victory in conquering Bakhmut’s rubble while Biden agrees to meet K-Mac when back tomorrow  Freedom caucus renews calls to slash or eliminated social security and Medicare, “progressives” call for higher taxes on billionaires and Janet Planet renews “dire” default warnings.

   At home, challengers Tim Scott declares and St. Ron aims for Wednesday; Nikki Haley welcomes both and says “we’ll be waiting” while more polls show Trump easily winning the primary and election.  In Belfast, the Catholic Sinn Fein wins legislative control.  Partisans hit the Sunday talkshows – DeSantis saying polls lie and Trump can’t win restoration, liberals cite Republican conspiracy to win in 2024 by defaulting, crashing the economy and blaming Biden. 

   CBS accuses the Pentagon of inflating said economy by gouging on domestic and Ukraine-bound military hardware.  Hiroshima survivors condemn all wars while Uvalde nears its first annivsary amidst duelling gun controllers and mental health reformers.

 

 

Debt ceiling be damned – the Dow and Don were up for the week, mostly as a consequence of the new foreign trade numbers showing that the U.S.A. exported more and imported less by a widely significant margin (perhaps edging into the area of statistical overreach as our trade deficit sinks back towards zero.  Less visible but perhaps more timely – government revenues experienced a rare decline while spending has slowed, but not enough to mollify MAGA Congressthings; not to mention the new military expenditures that will go to Ukraine.

   A note: if default that results in bounced checks for seniors, gumment contractors (not necessarily a bad thing, according to growing media reports of Pentagon gouging), for pensions (including V.A. payments) and for soldiers in the field... that will be an especially bad thing, with the added humiliation of occurrence over Memorial Day weekend.  (Thanks for your service, here’s an IOU!)

   And the bottom 90% of the Joneses facing not only increased mortgage bills but potential job losses and safety net shreddings will have to petition the Lords of Phynance with prayers that some version of the plague moratorium on foreclosures and evictions can be approved (despite inklings that the Freedom Caucus may be scheming to engender massive malaise and hatred of President Joe in advance of 2024 by tossing millions out onto the street so as to confiscate their homes and sell them off to a few well-connected speculators and rent the habitable apartments out as AIR BnBs to... well that’s a problem, because if default does occur, most foreigners will be losing money too...

 

 

 

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%)

CATEGORY

VALUE

BASE

RESULTS

SCORE

OUR SOURCES and COMMENTS

 

INCOME

(24%)

6/17/13 & 1/1/22

LAST

CHANGE

NEXT

LAST WEEK

THIS WEEK

 

Wages (hrly. Per cap)

9%

1350 points

5/15/23

+0.42%

6/23

1,434.50

1,434.50

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages   28.62 nc

 

Median Inc. (yearly)

4%

600

5/15/23

+0.02%

5/29/23

607.53

607.65

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   35,850

 

Unempl. (BLS – in mi)

4%

600

5/8/23

+2.94%

6/23

670.92

670.92

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000   3.4

 

Official (DC – in mi)

2%

300

5/15/23

+0.02%

5/29/23

275.06

275.11

http://www.usdebtclock.org/      5,788

 

Unofficl. (DC – in mi)

2%

300

5/15/23

+0.04%

5/29/23

285.17

285.30

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    11,211

 

Workforce Particip.

   Number

   Percent

2%

300

5/15/23

 

+0.022%                  +0.006%

5/29/23

303.17

303.19

In 161,880 Out 99,694 Total: 261,574

 

http://www.usdebtclock.org/  61.886

 

WP %  (ycharts)*

1%

150

2/27/23

+0.16%

5/23

151.19

151.19

https://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate  62.60  nc

 

 

OUTGO

15%

Biggest jump: used cars

 

 

Total Inflation

7%

1050

4/17/23

+0.4%

6/23

995.88

991.90

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

 

Food

2%

300

4/17/23

nc

6/23

278.78

278.78

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0 0

 

Gasoline

2%

300

4/17/23

+3.0%

6/23

254.40

246.77

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +3.0

 

Medical Costs

2%

300

4/17/23

 -0.1%

6/23

296.37

296.67

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     -0.1

 

Shelter

2%

300

4/17/23

+0.4%

6/23

279.37

278,25

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

 

WEALTH

6%

 

 

 

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

5/15/23

+0.38%

5/29/23

273.65

274.69

https://www.wsj.com/market-data/quotes/index/   33,426.63

 

Home (Sales)

(Valuation)

1%

1%

150

150

5/1/23

 -3.60%

+3.49%

6/23

139.61

273.83

134.58

283.40

https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics

Sales (M):  4.28  Valuations (K):  388.8

 

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

5/15/23

+0.064%

5/29/23

275.34

275.16

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    73,937

 

 

 

NATIONAL

(10%)

 

 

 

Revenue (trilns.)

2%

300

5/15/23

 -0.68%

5/29/23

384.68

382.05

debtclock.org/       4,614.5 4,583

 

Expenditures (tr.)

2%

300

5/15/23

+0.02%

5/29/23

339.53

339.47

debtclock.org/       6,041 042

 

National Debt tr.)

3%

450

5/15/23

+0.145%

5/29/23

425.23

424.61

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    31,749 795

(The debt ceiling was 31.4)

 

Aggregate Debt (tr.)

3%

450

5/15/23

+0.07%

5/29/23

419.72

419.43

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    96,180 246

 

 

 

 

 

GLOBAL

(5%)

 

 

 

Foreign Debt (tr.)

2%

300

5/15/23

+0.055%

5/29/23

343.85

344.05

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   7,287 283

 

Exports (in billions)

1%

150

4/24/23

+1.99%

6/23

156.02

159.13

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/current/index.html  251.2 256.2

 

Imports (bl.)

1%

150

4/24/23

+0.41%

6/23

169.79

170.48

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/current/index.html  321.7 320.4

 

Trade Deficit (bl.)

1%

150

4/24/23

 -9.81%

6/23

281.03

308.61

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/current/index.html   70.5 64.2

 

 

SOCIAL INDICES  (40%)

 

ACTS of MAN

12%

 

 

+1965

 

World Affairs

3%

450

5/15/23

+0.2%

5/29/23

449.92

450.82

G-7 (formerly G-8 before Russian expulsion) leaders hail Zelenskyy, talk the talk and eat the sushi in Japan.  “America’s Children Act” lobbies for “documented dreamers” being allowed to stay in America.  (But “America – US” or the Americas?)  Republican-linked Sinn Fein wins Northern Irish elections.

 

Terrorism

2%

300

5/15/23

+0.4%

5/29/23

288.72

289.87

CIA reportedly sending videos to anti-Putin dissidents in Russia, urging them to revolt.  Rotsa ruck!  Saboteurs are blowing up military and secret apps within Russia.

 

Politics

3%

450

5/15/23

+0.2%

5/29/23

472.08

473.02

Turkish semi-dictator Erdogan faces Presidential runoff election while former President Obama expresses relief that he’s out of office and can devote more time to his family. John Durham, Trump-appointed prober, calls Steele dossier more Deep State hate.   Sen. Tim Scott (R-NC) joins 2024 field; DeSantis on hold as he escalates Disney feud, motivating the Mouse to cancel billion dollar project and its 2,000 jobs and just plain shutter its $5.000/night space theme hotel because people aren’t quite that stupid.

 

Economics

3%

450

5/15/23

-0.2%

5/29/23

430.91

430.05

Don Jones’ credit card debt, approaching One Trillion dollars, is up 19% and engendering scams ranging from check washing to fake financial online advice social media, not all from Nigerian princes.  Bankruptcy fingers Vice Media and Buzzfeed.  Home Depot wobbling after bad Q1.  Target loses 763M to shoplifters who force closing of Office Depot and Whole Foods franchises.  But online and casino gambling enjoy record profits.  Biggest home price drop in decades is cancelled out by inflated mortgage rates.

 

Crime

1%

150

5/15/23

-0.1%

5/29/23

259.17

258.91

Home invader avoids secret service security and breaks into home of National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.  Strange criminal busted for stealing the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland. Ordinary criminals kill 10 year old in D.C., drunk truck driver kills seven in Oregon.

 

ACTS of GOD

(6%)

 

 

 

 

Environment/Weather

3%

450

5/15/23

-0.1%

5/29/23

415.17

414.75

Heavy rains in Italy ruining wine prospects and flooding Bologna, wildfires in Alberta, Canada, send smoke south from Rockies to New England.  Sierra snow expected to delight skiers until the Fourth of July while Bakersfield bakes at 102°; ten die as freezing temperatures plague Northeast.

 

Disasters

3%

450

5/15/23

-0.4%

5/29/23

440.76

439.00

Hot air balloon crashes in Virginia.  No Chinese spies jump out.  Little leaguer falls out of bunk bed, breaks skull, parents consulting lawyers.  Volcanos strike Mexico and Mt. Etna, Italy’ 7.7 EQ causes tsunamis menacing Pacific islands. 12 killed, many more injured in Salvadoran soccer stampede.

 

LIFESTYLE/JUSTICE INDEX

(15%)

 

 

 

 

 

Science, Tech, Educ.

4%

600

5/15/23

+0.1%

5/29/23

624.10

624.72

Florida’s robocallers targeted by FCC, to much applause.  Florida’s Gov. Ron fires a gaggle of liberal college professors.  AI scientists speculate on technology and political ads.  Idiots displaying their paychecks and banking info for fun on Tik Tok make banning it redundant – Montana’s “penalties for users” dilemma being self-explanatory.

 

Equality (econ/social)

4%

600

5/15/23

+0.5%

5/29/23

611.18

614,24