Shoe Company CEOs Worried About Tariffs

21 May 2019

Nike, Converse, Adidas among 170 shoe retailers warning Trump against trade war with China – Washington Post, 05/21/2019

The shoe sellers signed a letter to the White House warning of the “catastrophic” effects Trump’s proposed 25 percent tariffs would have on consumers, companies and the U.S. economy. Trump last week proposed the higher tariffs against shoe imports as part of a broader package of restrictions on $300 billion in Chinese goods, including many consumer items. The U.S. already has imposed tariffs, a type of import tax, on $250 billion in Chinese products, but consumer products had largely been shielded during that round.


The footwear industry is not alone: Economists and other business groups contend that tariffs are a tax on Americans that comes due on the U.S. companies that import foreign goods. Trump has countered that imposing tariffs incentivizes companies to move production back to the United States.

He has also said it is the only way to get Beijing’s attention as he seeks leverage in his trade fight — a battle he maintains the United States is “winning.”

“We’re going to be collecting over $100 billion in tariffs,” Trump told reporters last week from the South Lawn.

This will be an interesting dynamic if tariffs are implemented on shoe imports. Obviously the shoe companies want the status quo. They are making money and the environment is predictable. On the other hand, the country is losing money big time with China with regards to trade and Trump wants to stop the bleeding. What’s better? Low cost shoes or reigning in the loss of money in trading with China?

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Federal Reserve Snapshot – January 2019

14 Jan 2019

U.S. Economy in a Snapshot – Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 2019/01/04

U.S. Economy in a Snapshot, produced by the Research Function of the New York Fed, is designed to provide a tight yet comprehensive overview of current economic and financial developments. This monthly packet presents charts and commentary on a broad range of topics that include labor and financial markets, the behavior of consumers and firms, and the global economy. What’s more, Snapshot aims to cover special topics such as movements in commodity prices, developments in the Second District, or findings from the New York Fed Survey of Consumer Expectations.


California – The Poster Child for Income Inequality

25 Oct 2018

You don’t need a college degree to recognize this… it’s all out in the open.

Middle class is disappearing in California as wealth gap grows – The Hill, 2018/10/24

Beginning of the article…

California made major news this month, reclaiming a valuable economic marker and surpassing Britain as the fifth largest economy in the world. Its growth after the recession has accelerated under President Trump and even turned a modest surplus. However, the Golden State remains one of the most unequal in the nation. It has both billions of dollars in Silicon Valley and rampant homelessness. Its efforts to eliminate poverty instead accentuates it, and its tax system inadvertently aids those who are already wealthy. With the middle class leaving in droves, California society represents a modern day feudal system of robber barons and the poor. It is an unsustainable mixture.


After factoring for costs of living, California is the poorest state in the union. An average of 14 percent of Americans live below the poverty line by census measures. Compare that with the 19 percent of Californians who live below the poverty line and the situation is clear.

End of the article…

In many ways, California has long been an example for the rest of the nation. But the middle class conservatism that propelled national figures like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan is gone. It has been replaced with virtue signaling and policies by the wealthy that hurt struggling families. Both sides of the coin, from technology executives to families unable to pay rent, vote for Democrats that only make the problem worse.

The robber barons and artificially high real estate values in California brought its economy back to the fifth largest in the world. However, for the average person, Sacramento represents systemic political failure.

If you want to understand how income inequality occurs, read everything from the linked article in between what I posted above.


Government Debt… Is It Revenue or Spending?

16 Oct 2018

Federal Revenues Hit All-Time Highs Under Trump Tax Cuts – Investor’s Business Daily, 2018/10/16

Critics of the Trump tax cuts said they would blow a hole in the deficit. Yet individual income taxes climbed 6% in the just-ended fiscal year 2018, as the economy grew faster and created more jobs than expected.

The Treasury Department reported this week that individual income tax collections for FY 2018 totaled $1.7 trillion. That’s up $14 billion from fiscal 2017, and an all-time high.


Spending, on the other hand, was $127 billion higher in fiscal 2018. As a result, deficits for 2018 climbed $113 billion.

Revenue up $14B… spending up $127B. This is not sustainable. The issue is not who pays the taxes. It’s how the tax money is being spent.


Consumer Confidence at 18 Year High

26 Sep 2018

Consumer confidence hits 138.4 in September, vs. 132 estimate – CNBC, 2018/09/25

The Conference Board’s index rose to 138.4 this month from 134.7 in August. Economists polled by Reuters expected consumer confidence to dip to 132.

“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions remains extremely favorable, bolstered by a strong economy and robust job growth,” said said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending, and should be welcome news for retailers as they begin gearing up for the holiday season.”

Franco added September’s index print is near the all-time high of 144.7 reached in 2000.


The Richest Zip Codes

4 Sep 2018

This Is America’s Richest Zip Code – Bloomberg, 2018/04/10

The richest zip code in America is just as exclusive and elite as the people who live there. Fisher Island, located just off the coast of Miami, is accessible only by ferry or water taxi and is a haven for the world’s richest.


The average income in Fisher Island, zip code 33109, was $2.5 million in 2015, according to a Bloomberg analysis of 2015 Internal Revenue Service data. That’s $1 million more than the second-place spot, held by zip code 94027 in Silicon Valley, also known as the City of Atherton on the San Francisco Peninsula.


Who didn’t make the top 20? Any of the zip codes in Manhattan. However, several Manhattan neighborhoods made the top 50, starting with the venerable zip code of 10005 at No. 21 on the list. This one is home to the New York Stock Exchange and sits at the edge of the iconic “Charging Bull” sculpture.

Two other zip codes in Florida — Palm Beach (home of President Trump’s private club) and Naples — made the top 20. Suburbs of Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston also landed in the highest spots.


People Quietly Moving Back to Hometowns to Start Businesses

29 Aug 2018

The Great Re-homing: Why people are moving back to their hometowns to start small businesses – The Sociable, 2018/08/23

The most interesting trend I noticed was small business entrepreneurs returning to the communities where they came from. There is an invisible shift happening where people who once wanted to spread their proverbial wings somewhere else are returning to their hometowns to make things happen. This has always been the case to some extent, but I believe that technology is enabling people to be successful in ways that were very difficult or impossible just a decade ago.

Why are people coming home? After all, at some point they left for the allure and glitz of a larger city, a greener pasture, a shinier future, a perceived better career.

The reasons were…

  • A lower cost of living
  • A Sense of Community and Belonging
  • Technology Changes