Even Cesar Chavez Opposed Excess Immigration

President Obama has declared March 31st to be Cesar Chavez Day. In his proclamation, I was amused to see the president claim Chavez as a fellow community organizer:

“Cesar Chavez saw the promise of change – the unlimited potential of a community organized around a common purpose.”

While the president doesn’t say much about his community-organizing days, we do have knowledge of Chavez’s activities. So, how did the Mexican-American Chavez organize his community? Let me tell you…

…but first, if you grew up east of the Rocky Mountains, in a “green, leafy” suburb, like I did, chances are that you have no idea who Chavez was. Maybe you have vague memories of a lettuce shortage, or something about a grape boycott. Well, that was Chavez and his United Farm Workers. The Mexican-Americans that I knew in California spoke of Chavez as a deity; one rung below Jesus himself. If John Steinbeck had written a sequel to “Grapes of Wrath”, his Tom Joad character may have evolved into a gringo version of Chavez. And Bruce Springsteen would have written even more songs about him.

One of the things that Chavez did was try to improve the condition of farm workers by restricting the supply of workers; to raise the equilibrium wage to a point where they could live better than farm animals.

To that end, Chavez’s men picketed the INS to get them to enforce immigration laws. Chavez ratted out his fellow Mexicans to the INS if they were illegals. If he found them on the job, he turned a blind eye while his men administered beatings. And in 1973, Chavez even sent his troops to the border to battle illegals! See this, and this.

The word “immigration” doesn’t appear at all in the President’s proclamation. And for good reason. Because if Chavez were alive today, he just might be voting Republican in November. You see, when Chavez’s men were fighting bloody battles on the border, legal immigration to the USA was around 400,000 per year. Under the Obama administration, it has been nearly triple that – over a million per year. (See my immigration charts.)

Obama’s policy, unspoken though it may be, is to smash down wages all across the economy to goose corporate profits. The exact opposite of what Chavez tried to accomplish.

Today, activists will speak out against state immigration laws like the ones adopted by Arizona and Alabama. And in doing so, they will cite Cesar Chavez.

Bizarre, right?

Some of those activists are simply ignorant of what Chavez stood for. Others, I’m sure, are agents of Team Plutocracy fighting hard to turn the USA into an Asian-style, high-population, low-wage nation, blanketed from sea-to-shining sea with sweatshops and shanty towns, and a stratospheric Gini coefficient.

Wage Equilibrium = Code for Slavery

If somebody says to you that we can cure unemployment by repealing the minimum-wage laws so that wages can fall to their equilibrium level, you are either talking to a fool or a slaver. Libertarians like Lew Rockwell fall into the fool camp, and Republican Ann Coulter is an example of a slaver.

First, we already tried this. During the Great Depression (before the minimum wage was adopted in 1938) wages found an equilibrium level below the amount where a worker could purchase enough food to stay alive.

How does the fabulous “invisible hand” solve that problem? Easy, you just let workers starve to death until their numbers are reduced. Eventually, the supply of workers will fall to the point where wages rise to non-starvation levels.

And how long would that take? Well, for all practical intents and purposes, the supply of surplus humans in the world today is infinite. Billions and billions as Carl Sagan used to say. And since the equilibrium crowd is also an open-borders crowd, the USA would very rapidly come to look like Bangladesh – and it would stay that way for a very long time.

As we are seeing in the warehouse industry, we have already entered Grapes-of-Wrath territory while importing a mere 1 million legal immigrants per year.

In the 1930s, Florida deployed law-enforcement officers along its borders to keep immigrants out – its northern borders with Georgia and Alabama to keep Americans out. The state was trying to prevent an explosion of homelessness as migrant workers poured into the state. (California did so also).

Why were the migrants coming if there were no jobs? Because the growers were advertising for them. Since there was no minimum wage, the more workers that showed up, the lower the wages the growers could pay. By increasing the local supply of workers, the growers lowered the equilibrium wage.

Of course, they also created horrible, squalid working conditions where workers beat each other to death to land jobs in order to feed their starving children. The libertarian dystopia didn’t end until the federal government vacuumed up surplus workers and set them to building war matériel.

You and I might be appalled at the state of the nation when thousands line-up to apply for minimum-wage jobs at McDonald’s and Walmart. But do you think our CEOs feel the same way? Or are they drinking champagne and toasting to rock-bottom equilibrium, while scheming to get it even lower?

The historical fact is that the USA grew to the height of its power with the minimum wage, worker-friendly labor laws, strict immigration control, tariffs, Glass-Steagall, etc.

And it wasn’t a coincidence.

None of those things are the poison that the equilibrium-istas would have you believe.

Note: Read more about Florida’s libertarian dystopia during the Great Depression here.

Read it Here First: Slavery Returns

Harvard historian Niall Ferguson just wrote: “Get ready to be a slave in China’s world order.”

But you read it here first six months ago in: “There’s a Sweatshop in Your Future.”

How can I run six months ahead of the Harvard egghead types? Easy question.

Because I can see The Matrix.

And it’s about faith. If you don’t believe in pure evil, you will always be underestimating what the The Matrix has in store for you.

In any case, Ferguson is too worried about the Chinese:

“If China can impose low wages and harsh working conditions in emerging markets, how long before they start doing the same to us?”

So, I have a homework assignment for the professor: Go on a field trip to American warehouses and have a look at the wages and conditions imposed by American managers on American workers. Don’t go to the Costco facilities; they still treat workers like human beings there. And don’t go to the Walmart company facilities; go to their contract facilities instead. You know, the ones where they have plausible deniability.

Ferguson writes about a Chinese-owned mine in Africa:

“A typical monthly wage packet is about £54 — barely enough to feed a family. The Chinese pay Chinese wages for Chinese working hours. That has unnerving implications for everyone who wants to win Chinese investment. If you want the Chinese to put money into your economy, you had better get ready to work as hard as they do — and for as little.”

Foxconn may have its suicide nets, but in US warehouses pregnant women are made to work like dogs in 100 degree heat, with ambulances standing by outside. And many of them are so badly paid that they still quailify for food stamps!

The most thorough reporting that I have seen on the story is from Dave Jamieson at HuffPo: “The New Blue Collar: Temporary Work, Lasting Poverty And The American Warehouse.

Will Record Immigration Sink Obama?

During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt shut down immigration to a trickle. He got re-elected – twice. The man was literally, President for Life. During the Great Recession, instead of following Roosevelt’s proven strategy, President Obama did just the opposite. He kept legal immigration going at a record pace. (See my charts here.)

What’s even crazier is that the Democrats seem to think that the immigration issue is their trump card.

I can hardly believe this is happening.

Maybe recent immigrants vote Democratic, but what good is that when their weight on the labor market drives down wages and working conditions thereby minting an even larger number of voters eager for a change of national direction?

The USA has become more conservative over the past year, and many states have turned from blue to red. (See this Gallup poll). And even with the specter of a Republican sweep in November, the legal-immigration issue is not even discussed.

All of the immigration debate is around illegal immigration. I watched almost all of the Republican debates, and I don’t recall a single instance when legal immigration was even mentioned.

And that shows that legal immigration is not a partisan issue. Sure, I think it could sink Obama, but I doubt a Republican president would have done anything different.

People hate it when I write non-partisan political commentary. Both sides howl for the red meat like so many rabid dogs.


The multinationals want cheap labor in the USA; just like in their beloved China. President Obama is taking one for the team – Team Plutocracy.

One million legal immigrants per year poured onto an economy already sagging with 13 millions unemployed, and 46 million on food stamps?

Insanity for Americans; nirvana for multinationals.

You partisans are playing small ball. Like my blog motto says: “It’s the sovereignty stupid!”

AAPL Down = IWM Up?

On Wednesday, I joked that AAPL was sucking the life out of the small caps. Well, maybe it’s not a joke after all. On Friday, the Russell 2000 staged a dramatic come-back rally, and broke out of the downtrend channel that I drew in the previous post.

While the R2K was up 1.05% on Friday, AAPL was down 0.58%. Did money rotate out of AAPL into IWM? If it did, and AAPL continues to pull back, then maybe the small caps are the sweet spot in the market now.

That’s the bullish perspective. Now let’s look at the bearish side.

The IWM has been range-bound since February 3rd. Friday’s rally brought it up to the top of the range, and the IWM is now overbought on some indicators.

Thursday, the IWM fell on strong volume, and it rallied on Friday on lighter volume.

The false breakout from March 19th still stands with four consecutive closes below the breakout level.

So, the IWM still has work to do.

Momentum traders have made huge profits during this year’s rally. Maybe it’s time they hand those profits back to the mean-reversion traders, if not the perma-bears.

In any case, the small caps need to scrub that false breakout off the chart.

IWM Downtrend Channel

The IWM came within an eyelash of my downside target #1 from Tuesday’s chart. Take a look at the green box (click chart to enlarge):

Here is what the chart looks like now. Notice how IWM dropped into my green box:

Not bad, huh?

The fact that IWM bounced without filling the gap completely is a sign of eager dip-buyers, so maybe you bulls will survive after all. However, the bears scored some points too. On Tuesday, I said that the bears “would want to see this pattern evolve into a downtrend channel.” And that’s exactly what has happened. Look at the red downtrend line that I drew on the chart on Wednesday:

To see if we have a downtrend channel, we duplicate the red line to get a parallel, and drag it down to see if it connects the dots. And so it does:

IWM made a nice double bottom around 81.65 Thursday afternoon, and rallied sharply into the bell. In order to stay alive, it must keep that momentum going long enough to at least run up and tag the upper line of the downtrend channel. If it falls short, the next swing down might pierce the lower trendline.

If you are bearish, your dream entry for a short trade is at the upper channel line. If you are looking to buy a dip, your dream entry is at the lower channel line – but only if prices can tag the upper line first.

If the market is weak on Friday, then I draw what I call a “turbo line”. If the market drops at the open, it would look like this pink line:

If IWM rallies up a bit, but fails to tag the upper channel line, then I draw the pink line through its high for the day. The turbo line is a signal that the slope of the downtrend may intensify. So, just like the head-and-shoulders pattern has morphed into a downtrend channel, the red downtrend channel may morph into a more intense pink downtrend channel.

Film at 4pm.

IWM H&S Still in Play

When I drew the red line on the second chart in the previous post, I thought “too steep”. I was also thinking that the right shoulder wasn’t wide enough to balance the left shoulder. So, what the small caps did on Wednesday, moving sideways, made sense. On the chart below, I have re-drawn the red line, and it now has a more reasonable slope for a downtrend if the market drops. The blue boxes show how the shoulders looked after the close on Tuesday, and as you can see, the shoulders look more balanced now (click chart to enlarge):

Bulls can be glad that the right shoulder is now wider than the left shoulder since that’s a sign that the IWM may be able to shake off this bearish pattern. Bulls can also point to the pink line which has held an uptrend for over a week.

In addition to the head-and-shoulders pattern, bears can cite the fact that the IWM has closed below its breakout level for two days in a row now.

So, Thursday is an important day. A third close under the breakout level is one of the criteria of identifying a false breakout. So, its “swim or die” time for the small caps.

Why is the Russell 2000 struggling here? Suppose that a consumer has $2000 in spending money for the rest of the year. First, she buys yet another iPad for $600. Then she buys a share of AAPL for another $600. Then she has to set aside the remaining $800 for $4 per-gallon gasoline so that she can get to work.

Now she’s tapped out and all the rest of the retailers will go bankrupt.

And the Zero Hedge Times will be upon us.

May god have mercy on your soul.

IWM False Breakout?

Has the Russell 2000 small-cap index made a false breakout? Take a look at this 15-minute IWM chart covering that past few days (click chart to enlarge):

Not only has the IWM dropped back under its breakout level of 83.31 (blue line), but it has etched out a nicely formed head-and-shoulders reversal pattern in the process. I have my neckline drawn at 82.65 (red). The upper pink line goes from that level to the top of the pattern. The lower pink line is the same length and gives us our potential target just below 81.05 (black “x”). That’s near a former swing-low (purple arrow), and is a likely level where dip-buyers may come in.

Also, the green box marks a gap left over from March 13th. So, this head-and-shoulders pattern may be the market’s way of telling us that it intends to fill that gap.

Of course, since we are still in a bull market (probably), bearish patterns such as this will have a higher failure rate. If you insist on bucking the primary trend of the market, putting your short trades on at the red line of this chart might not be suicidal:

Right? So, you would want to see this pattern evolve into a downtrend channel. And in order to have a downtrend-channel, prices will need to tag the blue line I have drawn in. Anything short of that would indicate that dip-buyers are eager to come in.

If prices charge right up to the red line on strong volume, that’s a sign that they might break through. If prices hit the red line by going sideways, or drift up on light volume, then you can entertain the idea of a short trade – with a stop of course. If prices gap over the red line in Wednesday morning, then odds of pattern-failure increase.

Higher Payrolls = Higher Profits

Remember Circuit City? Here is a quote from The New Yorker:

“In 2007, Circuit City fired more than three thousand of its most experienced salesmen, replacing them with newer workers whom it could pay less. Its sales dropped, and it was bankrupt within a couple of years.”

Turns out that grinding employee wages down as far as possible isn’t a path to corporate riches after all – at least for retailers. See the Harvard Business Review paper on which The New Yorker was reporting.

It’s refreshing to see companies like Uniqlo actually treating workers with respect here in the globalist Age of Sweatshops.

Tonight! On Zero Hedge TV!

Zero Hedgers dig spider holes in their backyards!

“When survival’s the goal, it’s into the spider hole!”

Doomsday Preppers – Tuesdays at 5pm Eastern on the National Geographic channel.

The guy in this picture blew half his thumb off in episode #3:

We’re going to need a whole new health-care program to treat these people. It will be called “Zero Care” and be funded by egregious taxes on prepper supplies.

What Happens when Millions of Idiots Read Zero Hedge?

They turn into preppers, that’s what. And start building houses out of shipping containers, learning how to cook skunks, and planning for when Texas moves to the North Pole via extreme tectonic plate shifting.

While our Asian rivals build their civilizations, we prepare to fight each other over caches of canned food. Such is the leadership of “Tyler Durden”.

Here’s a clip from National Geographic’s TV show “Doomsday Preppers“:

From what I can see, the bulk (ha, ha) of these preppers seem to be preparing for food shortages by storing massive amounts of calories inside of their bodies. It’s a great plan – as long as you’ve got the “home production of insulin” thing down pat.

I toyed with the idea of starting a prepper movement in my neighborhood – 35 years ago. I had been reading too much Howard Ruff, the “Tyler Durden” of that era. There’s nothing new under the sun.

Take Away the Circuses? Really?

In “bread and circuses” America, the bread comes in the form of food stamps, and the circuses are delivered by BitTorrent. When the Jobs Czar sends a pleb’s factory job to China to increase corporate profits, the pleb can’t afford to go to the movies anymore. But he is still diverted from joining OWS because he is now occupied (ha, ha) downloading movies.

Until July, that is.

Because in July, US ISPs will begin monitoring the content of your download traffic, and administering harsh penalties to infringers. See the CNET story here.

Could this possibly work out better than SOPA?

Personally, if I worked for an ISP, I would seriously be thinking of finding other employment. I don’t need to be lynched, right?

The CNET story also says that the White House supports this initiative. Can you imagine? Obama is already getting dinged by high gasoline prices, and he’s on-board with this? In an election year? Wow. Why not just turn the keys over to the Republicans right now and save that billion dollars in campaign spending?

Note: BitTorrent accounts for a huge chunk of internet traffic. Estimates range from 20-40%. And BitTorrent isn’t the only torrent program.

Note: I don’t know what all the ISPs are doing since they have been keeping things quiet. But it is possible that they are going along with this because they know that their users will just evade the system by using things like SSL and VPNs.

IWM Leads, but Can’t Break Out – Sort of…

Yesterday, I mentioned that the market breakout was suspect until the small caps joined the party. Today, the IWM out-performed SPY and QQQ, but fell short of its rally peak of $83.31. That intra-day peak came on February 17th, marked by the red arrow on the chart below.

However, the second panel on the chart is of closing prices. IWM’s high close was $82.95 on February 3rd, marked by the black arrow. And as you can see, IWM closed above that level by an eyelash today, and also on Tuesday.

So, what’s more significant? The intra-day high, or the closing high? Answer: the closing high, because fund managers look at daily charts of closing prices and don’t care about intra-day extremes.

Right now, fund managers are seeing a breakout on the IWM chart, and are thinking about coming in. If IWM can follow through in the next day or two, bears should probably throw in the towel.

Also, this morning, the IWM was lagging until the “oil to be released from SPR” rumor hit the news. Oil whooshed down initially, and the IWM rallied along with the transports. If small caps are sensitive to gasoline prices, it’s news to me, but that’s what it looks like. Has the Russell 2000 been sulking, along with the transports, because of gasoline prices?

The Dow Jones Transportation Average finished up 3.27% today. So, even though the White House denied the SPR rumor, the markets suspect that Obama sent a message to oil speculators. And that might mean that he is serous about not letting gasoline prices cost him the election.

In other words, there is a potential catalyst there that might cause the small caps and transports to join the breakout. The IYT came up short of its rally peak, so it’s in the same boat as the IWM: it also needs to deliver some follow-through on today’s action.

March 15th is a Major Bradley Turn Date

March 15th is the first major Bradley Turn Date of the year. And since the market has been shooting straight up, the only possible “turns” would be down or sideways.

And there are indeed flies in the ointment. The small caps have been lagging badly. The Russell 2000 is not validating the SPX and NDX breakouts. Not only has the R2K failed to take out its 2011 peak, but it hasn’t been able to break out of its recent trading range.

In a rip-roaring rally like this, you would think that the McClellan Oscillator would be crazy overbought. But it stands at -36.74! And that shows that there is no breadth to this breakout.

Where have the small-cap gamblers gone? I don’t know, but until they come back, this breakout should be viewed with skepticism.

Typically, what would happen in a bull market is that money would now rotate into the small caps. And you would have a day where the IWM is up 2% and SPY and QQQ are up only 0.5%.

The moral of the story is: all eyes on the small caps as they will likely call the tune from here one way or the other.

Note: The last major Bradley Turn Date was on December 28th. And that turned out quite well as the market turned from flat to up rather decisively.

The Cramer Missile Crisis – Day 8

Since Jim Cramer declared a “missile crisis” and did his damnedest to turn you bearish a week ago, SPY has rallied 3.5%. The only missile in sight is SPY rocketing higher (click chart to enlarge):

By having Cramer on practically all day now, CNBC is making itself into one giant clown show.

And the crime is that CNBC has real talent on the roster. Look at the amazing call that Simon Hobbs made back in 2010.

Note to CNBC: WTF?

Senator McCaskill Thinks the USA is an Oil Exporter

At the 5:30 mark of the video below, you can see Senator Claire McCaskill state: “we did net export oil last year”:

Of course, that is a moronic statement. In fact, the USA is the world’s largest importer of oil.

If you are confused about this fact, please see the data I presented in “Eleanor Clift Thinks the USA is an Oil Exporter“.

Senator McCaskill must now resign from the Senate on grounds of gross ignorance of national affairs. She is more qualified to pump gas than to vote on energy policy.

Clearly, an entrance exam is needed to raise the intelligence level of our political class.

What a fantastic meme this is:

“The USA is an oil exporter.”

The world has never seen a better buffoon-detector.

The Cramer Missile Crisis – Day 3

If you sold out of your long positions on Day 1 of this egregious crisis, or even better, went short and are deep underwater now, don’t despair. James “Rear Admiral” Cramer couldn’t possibly be wrong, could he? CNBC wouldn’t let just any joker on it’s air to inform you of imminent war, would they?

Of course, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been campaigning for a US strike on Iran for years, but I’m sure his recent trip to meet with President Obama was far more profound. After all, the Rear Admiral said so, right?

P.S. While you are waiting for Cramer’s missiles to fly, you may want to contemplate one of Warren Buffet’s favorite sayings: “If you don’t know who the sucker is, it’s you.”

Top Investing Websites – Update #5

The Top Investing Websites page has been updated. Twenty-seven sites have been added, bringing the total to 137 (see the list below).

Among the Top-10 sites, there was only one change: ADVFN moved up from #9 to #8, surpassing Zero Hedge. Here are their Alexa Rank charts:

New sites added:
Advanced Trading
Arbor Research
Butler Research
Chart Swing Trader
Cobra’s Market View
Day Trading Radio
Elite Trader
Harmonic Trader
Market Folly
Quantifiable Edges
Real Clear Markets
Silver Seek
Small Cap Network
Star Alliance Capital
Stock Bee
Stock Markets Review
The Trader
Tischendorf Letter
Traders Day Trading
Wall St. Warrior
Y Charts