I really wonder sometimes if I should just stop trying to figure out Jim Cramer. Maybe it's because I keep feeling for the guy getting so brutally taken out of context (his "Bear Stearns is safe" call, for example, was, despite what most people believe, quite correct. What most people never hear is that he was addressing depositors at Bear with that remark, not investors in its common stock).
But even when he's getting unfair treatment in specific cases, he makes himself so hard to defend in general just because his mood seems to change almost literally with the time of day. To wit, a couple of pieces he wrote this evening, one on the EPA's massive power grab earlier this week, in which he actually used the word "radicals" to describe the leadership at EPA, and seems to think most people don't fully grasp the gravity of this action, flat out stating that this is worse for business than cap-and-trade.
But prior to that piece was another one essentially making the case that President Obama's falling poll numbers are having a causal effect on the improved outlook being reflected in the stock market. In other words (and this is my analogy, not Cramer's), in a reversal of what the Dems said last year about every hundred point drop in the Dow Jones meant a seat swinging their way in Congress, now, every percent drop in Obama's approval numbers means a hundred point climb in the Dow Jones.
Now, usually Cramer likes bull markets, which should mean that he likes Obama's falling popularity, but then again he's a Democrat so who can say?
Rather than spend any more time figuring that out, though, let's move on to what I really wanted to get to tonight, and that's in the form of the Money Quote:
I stumbled on a news release today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that showed that state and local government employers spent an average of $39.83 per hour for total employee compensation in September 2009, versus $27.49 an hour for private industry. Discouraging figure to say the least, because in the old days you sacrificed money for security when you worked for the government -- now you sacrifice nothing.
Now I'll admit it's unlikely to put it mildly that this great a disparity came about under Obama's thus-far-brief watch, but for me it encapsulates what's gone so hideously wrong with the governmental culture during my lifetime. They used to be public servants. Now they're above us peons in the private sector -- public masters if you will. That puts more of a chill down my spine than the 20-degree night they're forecasting down in this part of Texas tonight.