There are people who run things for us, who feel they should just naturally be in charge and they are telling us not to believe our own eyes.
The Federal Reserve voted to raise short-term interest rates up 25 basis points to 0.25 percent, on its way to 1.35 percent by the end of 2016, because the economy is doing so well it might overheat and cause more inflation. It took this action, draining hundreds of millions of dollars in needed liquidity from the system, when the economy is clearly weakening and a global recession has kicked in.
The week before, several large hedge funds and mutual funds announced the suspension of investors’ ability to withdraw funds (“carnage” and “rout” said Bloomberg about the bond market). The commodities markets (natural gas, petroleum, coal) were sinking, and mining giants like Freeport McMoRan and Anglo American suspended dividends (Anglo is laying off more than 60 percent of its 135,000 workers). Caterpillar reported its 36th consecutive month without an increase in annual retail sales.
Fed may have lit a fuse that will reach the $1.8 trillion junk bond market it helped create with its interest policies. Perhaps $180 billion in fracking industry junk may be defaulted in the face of $35 a barrel reality.
You don’t see any of this discussed in the Presidential debates or on the Sunday morning shows. Please just keep shopping.
The media is not explaining things. Consider the recent incident in which the Bernie Sanders campaign supposedly hacked data from the Hillary Clinton campaign. This is completely wrong, and every news show got it wrong, suggesting that something else is going on.
The Sanders campaign never controlled the firewall between the data compiled by different campaigns. It was controlled by a private vendor with close ties and a contract with the Clinton campaign. The Sanders data was just as vulnerable as the Clinton data. This was what programmers call a “white hat intrusion” to probe the fallen wall and assess what was going on.
Instead of thanking the Sanders campaign, the DNC and the Clintons ran to the media, claiming all kinds of nonsensical damages and victimizations. Programmers also know about setting a “honeypot,” in which you purposely drop a firewall and see who shows up. Team Bernie was the target.
The online reaction from the tech community against the perceived bullying of the Sanders campaign was fierce. It was a bad backfire. The DNC and the Clinton campaign gave in after one day, a bad backfire.
The “news” has ignored the Sanders campaign to ridiculous degrees. As of early December, ABC, CBS and NBS evening news had dedicated a total of 10 minutes (20 seconds on ABC) to stories about or generated by the Sanders campaign. Jeb Bush got 56 minutes. Post-debate analysis teams, stacked with Clinton campaign officials and loyalists, always declare Clinton a winner. Online surveys after the last debate (Dec. 19) showed Sanders winning by large margins (Time, 84 percent; Slate, 86 percent; Fox, 91 percent).
You don’t need a formal conspiracy when everyone in a group sees the world the same way. The Beltway media dismisses Sanders, even though two current polls of likely voters show him defeating Donald Trump by 10 to 12 points, a landslide larger than any Clinton lead.
Half the Americans my age have no retirement savings at all. One American households in four has no net worth. Bernie Sanders talks about these things. The media says that in 2016 we’re not supposed to notice. We’re only supposed to be afraid.
Turns out, older, well-educated middle-class voters (“Clinton voters”) are embarrassed to admit to pollsters that they support The Donald, who is probably six to 10 points higher than he is in published polls.
Democratic state committees appoint 713 “Super-Delegates” to the 2016 convention, mostly elected officials and party elders. Their unstated purpose is to put the brakes on a nomination decided before everyone realized what was going wrong. Would they?
Michael Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) has worked in state and local government. He lives in New Hyde Park. The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the publisher or Anton Media Group.