Tony Pierce reminded me that two formative parts of my youth entered the world on this day…
42 years ago, on July 25th, 1980, one of the greatest albums of all time came out: AC/DC’s Back in Black, the band’s first album after the death of original vocalist Bon Scott. Brian Johnson debuted as the vocalist on this album, and it ended up being the third best-selling album of all time.
I’ll open with a direct quote from the newsletter: 75% of middle-income families say their wages are falling behind inflation, according to a new report from Primerica and Change Research. 77% say they’re expecting and preparing for a recession, with 71% already cutting back on spending to help make ends meet.
Corporate profits are at 70-year record highs. Since 2020, the after-tax profits made by corporations who aren’t in the business of finance have grown by a trillion dollars:
There was a record level of stock buybacks: $882 billion! A stock buyback is the act of a publicly traded company (one that issues stock to the public) using cash to buy its own stock on the open market. This reduces the supply of the company’s available stock, raising its price, which is what shareholders like.
I’ll close with another direct quote from the newsletter: “The average S&P 500 CEO received $18.3 million in total compensation in 2021, an increase of 18% in one year. During that same period, average hourly earnings for workers fell 2.4%.”
At the same time, you’ve got the hue and cry from the executive class, with that same old “nobody wants to work” refrain. It’s nothing new, and suggests that the current situation isn’t a labor shortage, but a wages and worker treatment shortage:
That’s one of the challenges of having “the courage of one’s convictions” — the prerequisites are courage and convictions, neither of which Hawley appears to have in an appreciable quantity. He stoked a crowd with a lie, and ran when he had to deal the consequences of said lie.
I think the whole thing is best summed up by Michael Fanone, a D.C. police officer who was injured during the January 6th sedition that Hawley encouraged and then ran from: Josh Hawley is a bitch. And he ran like a bitch.