Archive for the Economy Category

18 Statistics That Prove That The Economy Has Not Improved Since 2008

Posted in Economy on February 20, 2012 by JT

Has the economy improved since Barack Obama became the president of the United States? Of course not. Despite what you may be hearing in the mainstream media, the truth is that when you compare the U.S. economy on the day that Barack Obama was inaugurated to the U.S. economy today, there is really no comparison. The unemployment crisis is worse than it was then, home values have fallen, the cost of health insurance is up, the cost of gas is way up, the number of Americans living in poverty has soared and the size of our national debt has absolutely exploded. Anyone that believes that things are better than they were when Barack Obama was elected is simply being delusional. Yes, things have stabilized somewhat and our economy is not in free fall mode at this point. But don’t be fooled. This bubble of false hope will be short-lived. The problems we are seeing develop in Europe will erupt into another full-fledged global financial crisis and economic conditions in the United States will get even worse. When that happens, what possible ” economic solutions” will Barack Obama have for us? We never even came close to recovering from the last great financial crisis, and now something potentially even worse is staring us in the face. This is not a great time to have a total lack of leadership in Washington.

The following are 18 statistics that prove that the economy has not improved since Barack Obama became the president of the United States….

#1 Today there are 88 million working age Americans that are not employed and that are not looking for employment. That is an all-time record high.

#2 When Barack Obama was elected, the percentage of unemployed Americans that had been out of work for more than 52 weeks was less than 15%. Today, it is above 30%.

#3 There are 1.2 million fewer jobs in America today than there were when Barack Obama was inaugurated.

#4 When Barack Obama first took office, the number of “long-term unemployed workers” in the United States was approximately 2.6 million. Today, that number is sitting at 5.6 million.

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via 18 Statistics That Prove That The Economy Has Not Improved Since Barack Obama Became President.

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Creeping Fascism, Part One: Return of the Company Town

Posted in Corporatism, Debt Collapse, Economy on February 20, 2012 by JT

The US government’s obliteration of the Bill of Rights via the Patriot Act, the recent defense bill that allows the military to detain citizens indefinitely without trial, the health care law that forces citizens to buy insurance, and the attempted takeover of the Internet through SOPA and PIPA has gotten a lot of attention lately, and in a few rare cases has generated some effective push-back.

But according to an article in this month’s Harper’s Magazine (Killing the competition: How the new monopolies are destroying open markets, by Barry C. Lynn), US corporations are evolving into forms that are more threatening to their victims than anything emanating from Washington. As the author characterizes it, a new generation of monopolists are imposing their own private governments on their industries — and not always the industries one would expect. This long, detailed article should be read by anyone with a desire to understand how the US is evolving. Here I’ll highlight a few excerpts to summarize the major plot points:

Silicon Valley

Just a few years ago a software engineer’s talents were almost completely portable, allowing a programmer to move effortlessly between tech companies. In other words, there was a functioning market for talent in which the individual had power and choice vis-à-vis local employers. Then a handful of companies began to accumulate near-monopoly control over their product lines — and their workers. From the article:

These days the Valley is once again abuzz. Headlines report bulging wallets and a smorgasbord of new perks. Venture capitalists hum down Route 101, and angel investors lurk and listen in the bars. But instead of a disruptive melee like that of the late 1990s, with its diversity of players and voices, the overwhelming tendency today is a further consolidation of power by the already powerful. During the past decade, a few giants have managed to fence in market after market for hardware, software, and content. Some did so simply by buying up their competitors….

Yet this de facto license to govern a trillion-dollar industry—and with it, entire swaths of the American economy—appears to have left these high-tech headmen unfulfilled. Or so we learned when the Justice Department complained in 2010 that senior executives at Apple, Google, Intel, Pixar, and two other corporations had “formed and actively managed” an agreement that “deprived” the engineers and scientists who work for them of “access to better job opportunities.” Even in those reaches of society long accustomed to the rule of the few, the fact that some of the biggest and the richest had agreed not to poach one another’s workers managed to shock. In an editorial, the New York Times wondered “What Century Are We In?” Yet in the Valley itself, from those most directly affected, we’ve heard only the rarest of whimpers. The anger is there. But it’s tamped down by fear.

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via Creeping Fascism, Part One: Return of the Company Town — DollarCollapse.com.

Many Of You Will Not Believe Some Of The Things Americans Are Doing Just To Survive

Posted in Debt Collapse, Economy on February 16, 2012 by JT

You might not want to read this article if you have a weak stomach. Most Americans have absolutely no idea what is going on in the dark corners of America, and when people find out the truth it can come as quite a shock. Many of you will not believe some of the things Americans are doing just to survive. Some families are living in sewers and drain tunnels, some families are living in tents, some families are living in their cars, some families will make ketchup soup for dinner tonight and some families are even eating rats. Some homeless shelters in America are so overloaded that they are actually sending people out to live in the woods. As you read this, there are close to 50 million Americans that are living below the poverty line, and that number rises a little bit more every single day. America was once known as the greatest nation on earth, but now there is decay and economic despair almost everywhere you look. Yes, money certainly cannot buy happiness, but the lack of it sure can bring a lot of pain. As the economy continues to decline, the suffering that we see all around us is going to get a lot worse, and that is a very frightening thing to think about.

The following is a half hour documentary produced by the BBC entitled “Poor America”. Trust me, this is a must watch. Your heart will break as you hear some American children talk about what they have to do for food….

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via » Many Of You Will Not Believe Some Of The Things Americans Are Doing Just To Survive Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

Fed pledges low rates till kingdom come! What it means …

Posted in Central Banking, Debt Collapse, Economy, Federal Reserve, Monetary Policy on January 27, 2012 by JT

Last week, I discussed how the European Central Bank has lost its marbles, launching its own version of quantitative easing. I dubbed it “QE-E.”

I also said that QE accomplishes almost nothing for the “real” economy, even if it juices asset markets. And sure enough, we got more proof of that this week (details to follow!).

Well, this week it was the Federal Reserve’s turn at the podium and what happened? Policymakers didn’t launch an official QE3 program. But they did promise to keep short-term interest rates low through late 2014 … up from a previous pledge of 2013.

Not only that, the Fed also said it would continue with its “Operation Twist” policy of selling shorter-term Treasuries and buying longer-term ones. The goal? Hold down long-term interest rates.

Noted bond fund manager Bill Gross of Pimco dubbed it “QE2.5.” All I could do was shake my head!

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via Fed pledges low rates till kingdom come! What it means … — Money and Markets.

Doug Casey on the Collapse of the Euro and the EU

Posted in Debt Collapse, Economy on January 26, 2012 by JT

L: So Doug, a lot of readers are concerned about what’s going on in Europe. Is this the beginning of the proverbial “it?” Or can the Eurozone be saved?

Doug: In brief, the answers are “yes,” then “no” – and a “good riddance” to both the Eurozone and the euro. But most people think the old order should be maintained at almost any cost. That would include George Soros, who recently penned an article called Does the Euro Have a Future?

Now, I don’t normally look to Soros for economic commentary, despite the fact that he’s one of the shrewdest and most successful speculators in the world. He does, however, represent the way the Davos people, Eurocrats, and the ruling classes in general think. But just because he’s made a lot of money doesn’t make him an expert in economics, any more than financial success is proof that Ted Turner, Bill Gates or Warren Buffet know anything about economics. They’re all idiot savants, a bit like Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man. But that’s another subject.

Soros writes: “The political will to create a common European treasury was absent in the first place, and since the time the euro was created the political cohesion of the European Union has greatly deteriorated.” He’s absolutely right about that and goes on to say that to create a common European treasury, the EU would have to have the power to tax. So, he’s saying that the euro should be preserved, and that to do that, it should be backed by wealth extracted by force from the average person in Europe.

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via Doug Casey on the Collapse of the Euro and the EU – Casey Research.

The IMF’s latest forecast: Perverse austerity

Posted in Debt Collapse, Economy on January 25, 2012 by JT

THE International Monetary Fund sharply lowered its global economic outlook today and warned that an intensified euro crisis could tip the world back into recession. Its latest forecast is for the world to grow 3.3% this year and the advanced countries 1.2%, sharply lower than it saw just four months ago. Those numbers, it warns, are predicated on a comprehensive solution to Europe’s crisis.

More interesting, and disturbing, are some findings in the IMF’s accompanying Fiscal Monitor. Last year was one for fiscal hawks to celebrate as fiscal consolidation proceeded apace. Throughout the advanced economies, budget deficits fell by about 1% of GDP. Only a little of that was due to the cyclical economic improvement. Most was structural, i.e. through discretionary spending cuts or tax increases. That should continue this year, led by America where, even if the payroll tax cut is extended, the structural deficit will decline by 1.4 percentage points.

In the euro zone, Germany, France, Spain and Italy all managed to reduce their structural budget deficits, the latter three thanks to austerity. All are expected to reduce those deficits further this year. But this is not the good news it seems. Austerity, the IMF has found, could be making Europe’s crisis worse, rather than better.

The IMF studied how credit default swap spreads react to a variety of economic indicators. Larger primary deficits (which exclude interest) lead to wider spreads, but only in the euro zone. More surprising, neither long-run deficits,long-run trends in pension and health care spending, nor long-run economic growth, had much impact. But near term growth did: weaker current-year growth was associated with notably wider spreads.

via The IMF’s latest forecast: Perverse austerity | The Economist.

Boomerang Kids: Why Multigenerational Households Are Surging Worldwide

Posted in Economy on January 24, 2012 by JT

indsay Samakow, 23, graduated from Penn State University in 2010 and took a job selling phone service door-to-door to small businesses. The recruiter promised she’d make a substantial commission over a tiny base salary. Although Samakow landed plenty of appointments, there were few takers: Her firm’s services were both unproven and more expensive than established rivals.

“The amount I spent in gas and tolls was more than I made in my job,” she said. After eight fruitless months, Samakow — by then the firm’s veteran salesperson — quit. She moved out of the apartment she shared with a roommate, and into her mother’s basement in Maryland while she looked for a new job.

Samakow, sister to HuffPost Parents’ Jessica Samakow, is part of a burgeoning trend: The Great Recession has led to the largest spike ever in the number of Americans living in multigenerational households, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. In 2009, the share of the population living in such households had increased to 16.7 percent, from about 12 three decades earlier.

More than 51 million Americans live in multigenerational households, defined three ways: two adult generations — a household head with an adult child, or with a parent; three or more generations, such as a householder, adult child and grandchild; or two “skipped generations” — a grandparent and a grandchild. But between 2007 and 2009, the fastest-growing segment of people doubling up with family were young adults ages 25 to 34, according to Pew.

Decades of globalization, rather than years of recession, are to blame for the failure to launch among young adults, according to a new book, “The Accordian Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents and the Private Toll of Global Competition,” by Katherine Newman, dean of the school of arts and sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

via Boomerang Kids: Why Multigenerational Households Are Surging Worldwide.

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