This morning, the November ISM came in at 52 vs. the 53.5 in October. This data reports on the Service Industry, i.e. non manufacturing and its employment picture. It represents, in essence, 70% of the US GDP. It was the worst level in 23 months.
Also, factory orders fell for the second straight month.
Do these numbers seem important? Yes. In light of this – plus the unresolved trouble in Europe – the stock market is rallying in the triple digits.
It doesn’t make any sense. There seems to be a disconnect between reality and perception.
The more I think about it, this disconnect seems apparent in almost every aspect of our society now. Perhaps that is another reason there is such malaise. We are frustrated by it.
For example, look at the media. The alphabet and cable news people claim to be journalists who just report the news without bias. However, it doesn’t take long for viewers to see that that is a lie. Look at how they single out candidates, blow something out of proportion and dwell on it ad nauseum. What they don’t report tells us a lot, too. That is not fairness and it’s not journalism.
Look at our government. They tell us we are free, but we won’t be able to buy even the lightbulbs we want after this month. They tell us we must control our spending, then go on to bust the bank themselves. They tell us unemployment has gone down and 120,000 jobs have been added, then tell us 300,000 plus left the job market. In Memphis we are told we have deficits then they announce they want to give city workers a $600 bonus.
Look at the president. He says he wants to work with Congress, then uses executive privilege to go over their heads for something he wants. Obama says he’s for the working man, then his campaign announces they’ve dropped the white middle class worker from their constituency. He and the First Lady tell us to cut back on fats, then wolf down hamburgers and ice cream every chance they get. Obama claims to respect the Constitution, then railroads a health care program through that ignores what it says.
Look at the schools. They call for more money continually. But the more money we pour in, the worse the grades and graduation rates get. They tell us teachers are underpaid, then load them up with union pension, health and perks. Even the rubber room inhabitants get full pay.
Look at Hollywood. They preach peace and gun control while they make violent action movies. They rail against the wealthy while making some of the top salaries in the country. The same for television. East and West coast producers make fun of flyover country and its values while asking us to watch their retreads.
Look at prices. Experts tell us inflation is not here, when every trip to the supermarket tells us prices are climbing. They say business is rebounding when we see new closings every day.
Look at Washington, D.C. Legislators say they understand the mood of the country, but from where I sit, they have no idea what we want. We tell them we don’t want health care and they do it anyway.
Look at the Occupy movement. They – and the liberal media – say they are non violent and oppressed, while theft, disease and rape run rampant in cities where they go. But the Tea Party, which has not had anything bad reported about them, is cast as redneck, racist troublemakers.
I’m sure you have other examples to cite, too. Every day the newspaper comes to our doorstep and we shake our heads in dismay. How can things be so off kilter?
Whichever candidate can connect up with us and show he or she understands the chasm, can win in 2012. If none does, we will feel this gap widen to a dangerous stage.