Is The Stock Market An Economic Barometer?

It seems like every day we are bombarded with news on the stock market.  The Dow is up, the Dow is down.  What will the market do when the job numbers come out?  How will it respond to Housing Starts?  We as a society still look to the stock market as a harbinger for the state of our economy. We all keep an eye on it because a large number of our retirement accounts hinge on its activity.
When people start returning to work, that’s when we will know that the economy is turning around.   There will have to be new jobs created, as manufacturing is dead in this country, having been sent abroad to save shareholder profits.  Not to mention the corporations have been able to operate “lean and mean” having reduced head count but  not reducing work load.  So you have a smaller payroll, with one employee doing three jobs,  at the same pay level.  Companies have found that this works, so why should they add jobs?  (Rhetorical question.)  What probably started out to be a short-term solution has evolved into long-term in our present economy.  It would be insanity to look for another job because, a). there are none, and b).even if you were lucky enough to land a job, if you needed to relocate,  you probably could not, because chances are you owe more on you home than it is worth.  And it just keeps getting better.  (That is sarcasm.)

Many corporations (i.e. Microsoft and others) have vast amounts of cash overseas in foreign banks, while they borrow money here because it is advantageous to pay dividends with debt market money rather than repatriate it and have a tax liability.  Everyone is working the system, it seems, except the middle-class taxpayer who is footing the bill..

The Ravages Of Cancer

Today we mark a milestone in Sam’s fight against cancer.  He returns to work, albeit half-time, after being off for more than 120 days.  During that time he endured major surgery, a rigorous radiation and chemotherapy schedule, and weeks of slow recovery.  He is down 100 lbs from this time last year, appears to have lost a bet and had to have his head shaved, and relegated to eat most of his meals with a straw.

At this point he is eating soft foods, speaking more clearly, and anxious to get back to normal life.  He is fatigued, but that will last according to the docs for about a year.  He won’t be tired all the time, but he will experience waves of fatigue.

We go back to Mayo on October 7th and hopefully will get a clean bill of health as far as Cancer goes.