The preliminary University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment index fell to 74.5 from 82.7 in November. Consumer spending already faltered months ago. The third-quarter report on gross domestic product revised an already weak original annualized estimate of 2.0% in personal consumption growth down to a pathetic 1.4%. Personal consumption expenditures decreased by 0.2% in November.
At the center of government in Washington DC we can see a preview of the new feudalism. Food stamp use has gone up in Washington DC by 35 percent and at the same time the Beltway counties have gotten rich twice as fast as the rest of the country to the extent that they now represent 7 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the country.
In just five years, China has surpassed the United States as a trading partner for much of the world, including U.S. allies such as South Korea and Australia, according to an Associated Press analysis of trade data. As recently as 2006, the U.S. was the larger trading partner for 127 countries, versus just 70 for China. By last year the two had clearly traded places: 124 countries for China, 76 for the U.S.
It’s almost like the number of millionaires in a country fluctuates with the tax rates. It’s almost as if people have the ability to move from one country to another in response to their own interest. It’s almost as if building your spending plan around high tax rates is as sustainable as building your affordable housing program around sand castles.