America’s Twisted Pretzel Economy, by David Stockman

Debt and central banking have distorted the American economy beyond all resemblance to the world-beater it once was. From David Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com via lewrockwell.com:

June retail sales allegedly rose at a booming +15.6% YoY rate, thereby reminding us once again that just because you can look it up on Bloomberg doesn’t make it true. Actually, inflation-adjusted retail sales have fallen at a –13.5% annual rate since the March peak.

Then again, the March peak was an out-of-this-world aberration that underscores just how bollixed economic life has become as a result of Dr. Fauci and the Virus Patrol shutting down the great engine of the US economy last March-April, followed by a mindless compensatory bacchanalia of spending, borrowing and printing by Washington’s Infernal Inflation Machine.

One result of that madness was a cumulative 60 million layoffs and food lines for miles in many parts of the country, accompanied by the most explosive consumer spending surge ever recorded. In the equivalent of a children’s “which things don’t go together” quiz, that combo ranks in the no-brainer category.

Yet, it did happen. The March 2021 retail spending level was 42.6% above the April 2020 bottom in real terms. More importantly, it also stood 19.1% above the February 2020 level, which, of course, was recorded before the boot heels of Dr. Fauci’s minions came crashing down on the US economy.

Here’s the thing. It happens that this 19.1% pickup in monthly retail sales (excluding restaurants and bars) amounted to nearly $340 billion in constant dollar terms. In the scheme of things that’s one hell of a big number because it represents the entire increase in inflation-adjusted retail sales between February 2003 and February 2020.

That’s right. The tsunami of Washington stimmies and free stuff plus the lockdown of services venues caused a gain in retail sales for goods over the course of just 13 months that was equal to the prior 17 years of real growth.

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