The State Of The American Economy

Townhall posted an article today about some of the economic indicators that show that the American economy is rapidly recovering from the self-inflicted recession.

The article reports:

Breaking news: The US economy is roaring! Over the last few months, we have witnessed the sharpest economic snapback in US history. While many are still out of work, the future looks increasingly promising for those seeking employment. One would think that we were still mired in the deepest throes of April’s COVID-19 crisis if you take heed of the media’s narrative in recent weeks. It is clear the Democrats and Joe Biden are making the pandemic their closing argument for the 2020 election. But why? The economy is a losing argument for the Left.

The article cites some of the economic indicators that signal a strong recovery:

The commodity market is a clear window into the cost of goods and the level of demand that exists. As the Coronavirus shut down economies all over the world, global goods demand collapsed. Most notably was the oil market, as energy fuels the economy as a whole. Supply was steady, but a massive collapse in activity that forms demand left producers with a supply glut. The supply/demand gap was so large that oil futures (commodities trade primarily in the futures market) actually went negative, a historic event.

Just 7 months later the market has not only stabilized, but also has rebounded significantly. Oil, itself, is up over 100% from levels seen this Spring. This is a sound indicator of the resumption of robust economic activity. We are now escaping from economic contraction and are closing in on expansion. As consumers travel more and demand comes back for finished goods, the oil market will continue to flourish. This is one of many reasons why the Third Quarter GDP measure, to be released at the end of October only days before the election, will show the most significant rise in US history. The commodities market isn’t limited to oil. There are other very useful economic gauges within the basic goods market.

One of the most important, in terms of assessing global activity, is copper. Copper is a basic material used throughout manufacturing. The copper market collapsed this Spring along with all other raw goods during the crisis. At its low, copper was trading down roughly 35%. As activity has roared back to life, copper has been on an absolute tear. As of this writing, copper is up over 50% above its COVID lows, and is, in fact, higher than the market was trading pre-COVID. That’s a very promising signal emanating from the commodity market.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There is a large body of indicators showing that the economy is on the path to full recovery. The majority of states still closed down are blue states, and the leaders of those states will have to answer to the voters. Meanwhile, the economic policies of the Trump administration are working their magic.

This Is Not A Surprise

Yesterday The New York Times posted an article about recent events in Venezuela.

The article reports:

For the first time in a century, there are no rigs searching for oil in Venezuela.

Wells that once tapped the world’s largest crude reserves are abandoned or left to flare toxic gases that cast an orange glow over depressed oil towns.

Refineries that once processed oil for export are rusting hulks, leaking crude that blackens shorelines and coats the water in an oily sheen.

Fuel shortages have brought the country to a standstill. At gas stations, lines go on for miles.

Venezuela’s colossal oil sector, which shaped the country and the international energy market for a century, has come to a near halt, with production reduced to a trickle by years of gross mismanagement and American sanctions. The collapse is leaving behind a destroyed economy and a devastated environment, and, many analysts say, bringing to an end the era of Venezuela as an energy powerhouse.

First of all, American sanctions are a very small part of the problem. When the government began taking over industries, it did not know how to run them successfully and there was no real incentive for innovation and progress. Innovation and progress are much more commonly associated with the free market than socialism. This was entirely predictable.

In November 2013, I posted an article reporting the following:

On Friday the Associated Press reported that PDVSA, the government-owned oil producer in Venezuela, seized control of two oil rigs owned by a unit of Houston-based Superior Energy Services. The company had shut down the rigs because the Venezuela oil monopoly was behind on payments.

Nicolas Maduro, the successor to Hugo Chavez, has not taken over any industries during the six months he has been President of Venezuela. This is the first move he has made in that direction. When Hugo Chavez began taking over industries, one news analyst observed that it would be difficult for him to keep those industries running at their profit levels without the knowledge of the companies that owned them. The seizure of these two rigs, which are repair rigs, is an illustration of that point.

Before socialism, Venezuela was one of the richest nations in South America. They had a booming economy. Now people are starving. The is the fruit of socialism. People are designed to work for a reward. When there is no reward for extra work, there is no extra work done. The Pilgrims attempted a communal system of farming when they originally settled Plymouth. They abandoned the idea and gave each family their own plot of land to farm after they nearly starved to death. America tried socialism already. It didn’t work. Now we have a candidate who embraces socialistic policies running for President. If Joe Biden is elected, America will eventually go the way of Venezuela.