Devil of Time Finding America's Hot Button

Charles Payne
Posted: May 06, 2012 12:01 AM

 solemn Council forthwith to be held at Pandemonium the high Capital of Satan and his Peers
John Milton
-Paradise Lost

The first use of the word Pandemonium was in 1667 in John Milton's "Paradise Lost." It is the name Milton gave to the capital of Hell that Satan and his fellow demons, vanquished from heaven, established as their base of operations.

The book itself is about the fall of man and seeks to justify the ways of God to men. Hieronymus Bosch "Garden of Earthly Delights" (1500) is perhaps the best illustration to that, and matches the book written by Milton.

The art world brought to life many great paintings that illustrated pains and commotions of hell with visuals so strong viewers can smell and even feel the tingle of fire and brimstone.

So it was only a matter of time before the capital of Hell came to mean more in the English language:

A. Wild uproar or unrestrained disorder; tumult or chaos
B. A place or scene of riotous uproar or utter chaos

This was the goal of the Occupy Movement yesterday with the blessing of the administration, financial support and training of the unions, and encouragement by the general media. OWS was supposed to create pandemonium.

The day fell flat, washed out in New York City and wiped out in the rest of the nation by a country of people more concerned with making money and feeding families than listening to the whining of people that want to begin life on Easy Street. Perhaps there was no greater blow to the day than the stock market rally. The Dow surged to four year highs and stocks for the most part were mostly higher.

Pumped or Pleased

The spark came from a better-than-expected ISM number that saw the employment component soar to its highest level since last June. Although we are a service economy, many economists, and a few politicians looking for a rebirth of manufacturing in the United States, make that data series the second most important monthly scheduled release.

I still wonder about the bump in manufacturing spurred on as a low-cost alternative to China, massive debasing of the dollar and a trade war. Of course I want fair trade and smart trade and the rest of the world to buy our stuff. Of course domestic demand is critical as well. I'm reluctant to say we are in the midst of a "renaissance" in manufacturing, but things are better.

Still, even with the manufacturing number and a boffo earnings season, Wall Street continues a cautious rally that has thus far masked a historic run. Yesterday, backing and filling coupled with light volume gave the impression of doubt and caution. This is how the market has been able to enjoy the greatest stealth rally in history. Nobody is excited about the move or its implications. Even after that strong manufacturing number, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stumbled to close up an unexciting 66-point.

Where is the excitement? Where is the sense we have come through the worst? Where is long-standing agreement that Americans suspend logic and look at the bright side?

I call this the dropout society, where people are unmotivated and not driven. We have dropped out of the jobs market. We don't want to be entrepreneurs. We don't have that zest for life that had nothing to do with economic circumstances in the past and everything to do with excitement about the future. Heck, while those OWS knuckleheads failed to disrupt the nation, younger people are already in a state of depression. A new report from Pew Research reveals one in five adults between ages 25 and 34 live with their parents or in other "multi-generational" living arrangements. This is the highest level since the 1950s.

People are still shopping, but for the most part, you don't hear buzz about that must have product. Save for the hype on The Hunger Games, it feels like summer blockbuster movies will be formulaic and run of the mill, making money on higher ticket prices but not truly capturing the public's imagination.
Same for books, save that steamy book that has a lot of women hot and bothered. The point is we don't seem to get excited about anything or even very angry for that matter. Last night I had Hon. Geert Wilders on Payne Nation and this is a man with passion.

I understand he is a lightning rod for many, but he is firm on his positions that the Netherlands must get out of the Euro and stop being a transfer nation whose wealth supports southern European countries, and that Islam is destroying his country. He has the kind of conviction that leaves few people with an indifferent opinion. I really can't say the same, even in politics in America. Let's face it, most people that like President Obama like him because of the promise of a more leftist second term and most people that like Romney like him because he might bring America back to its heyday. Yet, there isn't overwhelming enthusiasm for either candidate.

Yesterday the market was pleased with the ISM report and even tried to get pumped, but that lasted a couple of hours. Maybe it's just not in us anymore.