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Author Topic: Misery Index: The Obama Depression - "Private sector doing just Fine"  (Read 63334 times)
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« Reply #600 on: January 12, 2012, 12:38:08 PM »


December U.S. Budget Deficit Wider Than Expected
Published January 12, 2012
Reuters




The monthly U.S. budget deficit climbed to $85.97 billion during December from $78.13 billion in the same month a year earlier, partly because some payments normally made in January were shifted to December, the Treasury Department said on Thursday.

Outlays rose to $325.93 billion from $315.01 billion in December 2010. Among the payment shifts to December was about $4 billion in military retirement pay that was sent early because Jan. 1 fell on a Sunday.

Government receipts, mainly from taxes, rose modestly to $239.96 billion in December 2011 from $236.88 billion in December 2010.

Under the government's accounting system, last October was the opening month of fiscal 2012. During fiscal 2011 which ended Sept 30, the budget deficit totaled $1.296 trillion.



Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/2012/01/12/december-us-budget-deficit-wider-than-expected/#ixzz1jH4ucJDX

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« Reply #601 on: January 12, 2012, 09:02:57 PM »

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Nearly 1 Million Workers Vanished Under Obama
http://news.investors.com ^ | January 12 2012 | JOHN MERLINE
Posted on January 12, 2012 7:13:01 PM EST by Para-Ord.45

Initial jobless claims unexpectedly jumped by 24,000 last week to 399,000 as more workers lost their jobs, the Labor Department said Thursday. At the same time, the economy continues to lose workers.

In the 30 months since the recession officially ended, nearly 1 million people have dropped out of the labor force — they aren't working, and they aren't looking — according to data from Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the past two months, the labor force shrank by 170,000.

This is virtually unprecedented in past economic recoveries, at least since the BLS has kept detailed records.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...
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« Reply #602 on: January 13, 2012, 04:59:52 AM »

 
 



 


Peter Ferrara, Contributor
I cover public policy, particularly concerning economics.
OP/ED | 1/12/2012 @ 2:34PM |42,389 views
The Worst Economic Recovery Since The Great Depression

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The record of President Obama’s first three years in office is in, and nothing that happens now can go back and change that.  What that record shows is that President Obama, with his throwback, old-fashioned, 1970s Keynesian economics, has put America through the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression.

The recession started in December, 2007.  Go to the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research (www.nber.org) to see the complete history of America’s recessions.  What that history reveals is that before this last recession, since the Great Depression recessions in America have lasted an average of 10 months, with the longest previously lasting 16 months.

When President Obama entered office in January, 2009, the recession was already in its 13th month.  His responsibility was to manage a timely, robust recovery to get America back on track again.  Based on the historical record, that recovery was imminent, within a couple of months or so.  Despite widespread fear, nothing fundamental had changed to deprive America of the long term, world-leading prosperity it had enjoyed going back 300 years.

Supposedly a forward looking progressive, Obama proved to be America’s first backward looking regressive.  His first act was to increase federal borrowing, the national debt and the deficit by nearly a trillion dollars to finance a supposed “stimulus” package, based on the discredited Keynesian theory left for dead 30 years ago holding that increased government spending, deficits and debt are what promote economic growth and recovery. That theory arose in the 1930s as the answer to the Great Depression, which, of course, never worked.

That was the beginning of President Obama’s Rip Van Winkle act, pretending not to know anything that happened over the previous 30 years proving the dramatic, historic success of the new, more modern, supply side economics, which holds that incentives for increased production are what promote economic growth and recovery.  Indeed, that Rip Van Winklism pretended not to remember the 1970s either, when double digit inflation and double digit unemployment proved Keynesian economics grievously wrong.

As should have been long expected, Obama’s trillion dollar Keynesian stimulus did nothing to promote recovery and growth, and almost surely delayed it.  That is because borrowing a trillion dollars out of the economy to spend a trillion back into it does nothing to promote the economy on net. Indeed, it is probably a net drag on the economy, because the private sector spends the money more productively and efficiently than the public sector.

The National Bureau of Economic Research scored the recession as ending in June, 2009.  Yet, today, in the 49th month since the recession started, there has still been no real recovery, like recoveries from previous recessions in America.

Unemployment actually rose after June, 2009, and did not fall back down below that level until 18 months later in December, 2010.  Instead of a recovery, America has suffered the longest period of unemployment near 9% or above since the Great Depression, under President Obama’s public policy malpractice.  Even today, 49 months after the recession started, the U6 unemployment rate counting the unemployed, underemployed and discouraged workers is still 15.2%.  And that doesn’t include all the workers who have fled the workforce under Obama’s economic oppression.  The unemployment rate with the full measure of discouraged workers is reported at www.shadowstats.com as about 23%, which is depression level unemployment.

Today, over 4 years since the recession started, there are still almost 25 million Americans unemployed or underemployed.  That includes 5.6 million who are long-term unemployed for 27 weeks, or more than 6 months.  Under President Obama, America has suffered the longest period with so many in such long-term unemployment since the Great Depression.

Notably, blacks have been suffering another depression under Obama, with unemployment today, 49 months after the recession started, still at 15.8%. Black unemployment has been over 15% for 2 ½ years under Obama.  Black teenage unemployment today is over 40%, where it has persisted for over 2 years as well.

Hispanics have also been suffering a depression under Obama, with unemployment today still in double digits at 11%.  Hispanic unemployment has been in double digits for three years under President Obama.  Over one fourth of Hispanic youths remain unemployed today, which also has persisted for years.

The Census Bureau reported in September that more Americans are in poverty today than at any time in the entire history of Census tracking poverty. Americans dependent on food stamps are at an all time high as well.

Real wages and incomes have been falling so steadily under Obama and his confused, throwback, Keynesian/neo-Marxist Obamanomics, that the Census Bureau also reported that real median family income in America has fallen all the way back to 1996 levels.

Obama apologists cannot argue that this is because the recession was so bad, because the historical record in America is the worse the recession the stronger the recovery.  Based on historical precedent, we should at worst be finishing the second year of a booming recovery by now.

Compare Obama’s lack of a recovery 2 ½ years after the recession ended with the first 2 ½ years of the Reagan recovery.  In those years under Reagan, the American economy created 8 million new jobs, the unemployment rate fell by 3.6 percentage points, real wages and incomes were jumping, and poverty had reversed an upsurge started under Carter, beginning a long term decline.

While Obama crows about 200,000 jobs created last month, the most for a month during his entire Administration, in September, 1983 the Reagan recovery less than a year after it began created 1.1 million jobs in that one month alone.  Under Obama, we are still almost 6 million jobs below the peak before the recession started over 4 years ago! In the second year of the Reagan recovery, real economic growth boomed by 6.8%, the highest in 50 years.

The chief excuse of the Obama apologists is that what we have suffered was not just a recession, but a financial crisis, and, they argue, recovery from a financial crisis takes a lot longer than recovery from a recession.  But that is not the experience of the American, free market, capitalist economy.

The experience of the American economy is reported in full at the National Bureau of Economic Research, as cited above – recessions since the Great Depression previously have lasted an average of 10 months, with the longest previously 16 months, and the deeper the recession the stronger the recovery.  That is the standard by which the performance of Obamanomics is to be judged.  Which of those American recessions was a “financial crisis” that breaks the pattern?

The apologists cite in their support the book, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff. That book “covers sixty-six countries over nearly eight centuries.”  It “goes back as far as twelfth century China and medieval Europe.”  The data “come from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania.”  The experience from 12th century China, medieval Europe, spendthrift demagogues and socialist economies from Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia, do not set the standard of expectations for post depression, free market, capitalist America over the last 70 years, the most powerful economic engine in the history of the world.

The data in the book is marshaled to explain why, in fact, “this time is different” is actually always wrong.  Seizing upon the data in the book to try to give some sort of pass to Obamanomics for failing the economic performance standards of American history is just political propaganda.

Indeed, exactly none of President Obama’s policies have been well designed to restore economic recovery and traditional American prosperity.  They have consistently been the opposite of everything that Reagan did to end the American decline of the 1970s, and restore booming growth for 25 years. That is why Rush Limbaugh is saying Obama deliberately wants to trash the economy, thinking the resulting dependency will lead a majority to continue to vote for the liberal political machine.  President Obama certainly thinks that traditional American, world leading prosperity is morally embarrassing because of the global inequality it represents.

The American economy will likely show continued, long overdue, signs of life in 2012, which will amount to way too little, way too late, based on historical standards.  But even worse than his first term is what Obama is brewing up for 2013 on his current course.

Most people do not know that already enacted in current law for 2013 are increases in the top tax rates of virtually every major federal tax.  That is because the tax increases of Obamacare become effective that year, and the Bush tax cuts expire, which Obama has refused to renew for singles reporting income over $200,000 per year, or couples reporting over $250,000 per year (in other words, the nation’s small businesses, job creators and investors, in plain English).

As a result, if the Bush tax cuts just expire for these upper income taxpayers, along with the Obamacare taxes, in 2013 the top two income tax rates will jump nearly 20%, the capital gains tax rate will soar by nearly 60%, the tax on corporate dividends will nearly triple, and the Medicare payroll tax will leap by 62% for those disfavored taxpayers.

This is on top of the U.S. corporate income tax rate, which is virtually the highest in the industrialized world.  The federal rate is 35%, with state corporate rates taking it close to 40% on average.  But even Communist China has a 25% rate.  The average rate in the social welfare states of the European Union is less than that.  Formerly socialist Canada has a 16.5% rate going down to 15% next year.

These U.S. corporate tax rates leave American companies uncompetitive in the global economy.  Yet under President Obama there is no relief in sight.  Instead, he has spent the past year barnstorming the country calling for still further tax increases on American business, large and small, investors, and job creators.

Higher tax rates mean producers can only keep a smaller percentage of what they produce.  So tax rate increases reduce the incentive for productive activities, such as saving, investment, starting businesses, expanding businesses, job creation, entrepreneurship and work, resulting in less of each. And that is what the tax tsunami of 2013 would do, which would once again swamp the weak economy.

Most small business profits are reported from households earning more than $200,000/$250,000 per year, and those small businesses produce more than half the new jobs.  So the 2013 tax tsunami effectively targets small business, and the nation’s job creators.  That will hurt working people the most, because they will lose the jobs and the wage income they need to maintain their basic standard of living.

In addition, the Obama administration is in the process of imposing a blizzard of new regulatory costs and barriers that will be building to a crescendo by 2013 as well. Academic studies estimate the total costs of regulation in the economy to be rapidly rising towards $2 trillion per year, or $8,000 per employee.  That is close to 10 times the corporate income tax burden, and double the individual income tax.  When the resulting effects on the economy are considered, the total losses due to regulatory burdens may total $3 trillion, or one fifth of our entire economy.

But by 2013 these regulatory costs will have exploded in unprecedented fashion.  That reflects the Obama Administration’s global warming crusade, assault on private energy production, the still oncoming Dodd-Frank regulatory burdens on the financial community, Obamacare regulations, particularly the job killing employer mandate, and many others.

By 2013, the Fed may be in contractionary mode as well.  If history is any guide, the Fed might decide that right after the election would be the perfect time to cut back on its historically loose monetary policy with record low interest rates that have persisted for years.  Adding rising interest rates to the above brew of soaring marginal tax rates across the board and exploding regulatory costs would accumulate to a powerful contractionary force.

Art Laffer predicted the Coming Crash of 2011 on the basis of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on the upper income earners alone.  Those tax rate increases were extended to 2013 in December, 2010 out of fear that prediction was right.  But now in 2013 in addition to those tax rate increases we have all of the tax increases of Obamacare, the further exploding costs of Obama’s building regulatory blizzard, and the possible contractionary effect of the Fed’s monetary policies, all at the same time.  Unless we reverse course, the result may well be one big, bad crash in 2013.

Adding that on top of Obama’s first term, the entire period will look like an historical reenactment of the 1930s.  Unless the American people choose to change leadership this year, we will have achieved that result the old fashioned way – we will have earned it.


This article is available online at:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2012/01/12/the-worst-economic-recovery-since-the-great-depression/
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« Reply #603 on: January 13, 2012, 06:37:06 AM »

We’re Number Ten
National Review ^ | 01/13/2012 | Deroy Murdock




Good news! On economic freedom, America is in the global Top 10.

Bad news: America is No. 10 — one blond hair ahead of Denmark.

According to the 18th annual Index of Economic Freedom, released Thursday by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong enjoys the earth’s freest economy. The Chinese Special Administrative Region invariably has topped this list since it began in 1995. No. 2 Singapore leads Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, and Ireland. Agnostic on political freedom, the Index evaluates fiscal discipline, taxes, regulations, monetary policy, rule of law, corruption, and other measures of economic liberty.

Because the United States keeps slipping in those areas, America has slid from No. 9 in 2011 to tenth place today. Indeed, this is the fourth consecutive year in which the U.S. fell a notch. Out of a perfect score of 100, America declined 1.5 points to 76.3. Denmark, No. 11, scored 76.2.

“As recently as 2008, the United States was ranked 7th, rated 81, and considered a ‘free’ economy,” Heritage notes. “Today, it is ‘mostly free’ — the runner-up category.”

The Index’s authors — Amb. Terry Miller, Kim Holmes, and Ed Feulner, all at Heritage — lament that in America, “recent government interventions have eroded limits on government, and public spending by all levels of government now exceeds one-third of total domestic output. The regulatory burden on business continues to increase rapidly, and heightened uncertainty further increases regulations’ negative impact. Fading confidence in the government’s determination to promote or even sustain open markets has discouraged entrepreneurship and dynamic investment within the private sector.”

U.S. tax-and-spend scores are appalling: Among 179 countries surveyed, America is No. 127 in government spending and No. 133 in fiscal freedom, far below average on both counts. The U.S. suffers an “overall tax burden amounting to 24 percent of total domestic income,” the Index states. “Government expenditures have grown to 42.2 percent of GDP, and the budget deficit is close to 10 percent of GDP. Total public debt is now larger than the size of the economy.” Such boulders bow American shoulders.

Meanwhile, U.S. businesspeople moan beneath the regulatory rubble. “Over 70 new major regulations have been imposed since early 2009, with annual costs of more than $38 billion,” the Index observes. “There were only six major deregulatory actions during that time, with reported savings of just $1.5 billion.”

Another problem: “Corruption is a growing concern as the cronyism and economic rent-seeking associated with the growth of government have undermined institutional integrity,” the Index declares. For Freedom from Corruption, the U.S. is ranked No. 22; approximating Transparency International’s finding that America is the earth’s 24th most honest country.

What fuels suspicions of American shadiness? Consider Big Labor’s waivers from Obamacare and the administration’s granting union payouts ahead of the contractually protected claims of Chrysler’s and General Motors’ secured bondholders.

Republican- and Democrat-approved subsidies for campaign donors in the ethanol and sugar industries also are as crooked as sidewinders. Solyndra’s $535 million contributions-for-loans-for-bankruptcy scandal could have been scripted in Caracas.

No. 7 Chile has surpassed America on economic freedom, confirming the wisdom of its reforms — including its social-security system’s wildly popular and highly successful personal-account option. These were inspired by the ideas and disciples of the late, great economist and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

Even No. 8 Mauritius is economically freer than America, the first time an African nation has left the U.S. behind.

Thankfully, America’s economy is not repressed, like those of the ten least free countries: No. 170 Equatorial Guinea, followed by Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma, Venezuela, Eritrea, Libya, Cuba, Zimbabwe, and — dead last — No. 179 North Korea. Alas, America is sinking toward these economic dungeons, not climbing away from them.

How can the U.S. reverse course and restore economic freedom? Uncle Sam should put down the fiscal fork and stop devouring national income. Repealing and replacing Obamacare, junking Dodd-Frank, enacting an optional 15 percent flat tax, and modernizing the slowly imploding Social Security system via voluntary personal accounts all would turbocharge U.S. economic freedom. So would grounding Helicopter Ben Bernanke and hiring Steve Forbes. The publisher would unplug Washington’s monetary printing press and, instead, implement sound money — ideally through the gold standard. This would trump Bernanke’s technique: prying monetary targets from a hat.

Free-marketeers should campaign for economic liberty and hammer President Obama, the fiscally reckless Bush-Rove administration, and congressional spendthrifts and uber-regulators of both parties. They jointly have battered this formerly pride-inducing aspect of American exceptionalism. Advocates of economic freedom should explain how to prevent the U.S. from slouching out of the Top 10 and begin ascending toward the No. 1 spot — right where America belongs.

— New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University



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« Reply #604 on: January 13, 2012, 08:48:16 AM »

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24 Stats To Crush Anyone Who Thinks America Has A Bright Economic Future
Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse | Jan. 13, 2012, 9:28 AM | 863 | 10




24 Statistics To Show To Anyone Who Believes That America Has A Bright Economic Future
How To Prepare For The Difficult Years Ahead
 
Beware of bubbles of false hope. Right now there is a lot of talk about how the U.S. economy is improving, but it is all a lie. The mainstream media can be very seductive. When you sit down to watch television your brain tends to go into a very relaxed mode. In such a state, it becomes easy to slip thoughts and ideas past your defenses. Sometimes when I am watching television I realize what the media is trying to do and yet I can still feel it happening to me. 

In this day and age, it is absolutely critical that we all think for ourselves. When you look at the long-term trends and the long-term numbers, a much different picture of the U.S economy emerges than the one that is painted for us on television.

Over the long-term, the number of good jobs in America has been steadily going down. Over the long-term, the number of Americans living in poverty and living on food stamps has been steadily going up. Over the past couple of decades, tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of our national wealth have gone out of the country.

Our debt is nearly 15 times larger than it was 30 years ago, and U.S. consumer debt has soared by 1700% over the past 40 years. Year after year the rate of inflation goes up faster than our incomes do, and this is absolutely devastating the middle class. Anyone who believes that we can keep doing the same things that we have been doing and yet America will still have a bright economic future is delusional. Until the long-term trends which are taking the U.S. economy straight into the toilet are reversed, any talk of a bright economic future is absolute nonsense.

In America today, we have such a short-term focus. We are all so caught up with what is happening right now. Our attention spans seem to get shorter every single year. At this point it would not be hard to argue that kittens have longer attention spans than most of us do. (If you have ever owned a kitten you know how short their attention spans can be.) Things have gotten so bad that most of our high school students cannot even answer the most basic questions about our history. If people are not talking about it on Facebook or Twitter it is almost as if it does not even matter.

But any serious student of history knows that is is absolutely crucial to examine long-term trends. And when you look at the long-term trends, it rapidly becomes apparent that the U.S. economy is in the midst of a nightmarish long-term decline.

The following are 24 statistics to show to anyone who believes that America has a bright economic future....

#1 Inflation is a silent tax that steals wealth from all of us. We continue to shell out increasing amounts of money for the basic things that we need, and yet our incomes are not keeping pace. Just check out the following example. Gasoline prices have been trending higher for several years in a row as one blogger recently noted....

January 2009           $1.65

January 2010           $2.57

January 2011           $3.04

January 2012           $3.29

#2 If you can believe it, the average American household spent approximately $4,155 on gasoline during 2011.

#3 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

#4 Health care costs continue to rise at a very alarming pace.  According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980.  Today they account for approximately 16.3%.

#5 Getting a college education has also become insanely expensive in America.  After adjusting for inflation, U.S. college students are borrowing about twice as much money as they did a decade ago.

#6 To get the same purchasing power that you got out of $20.00 back in 1970 you would have to have more than $116 today.

#7 To get the same purchasing power that you got out of $20.00 back in 1913 you would have to have more than $457 today.

#8 There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States today than there were back in 2000 even though we have added more than 30 million extra people to the population since then.

#9 The U.S. economy is bleeding millions of good jobs.  Greedy CEOs are systematically shipping them overseas and our politicians are standing around and doing nothing about it.  This has gone on year after year after year.  The following is from a recent article by Paul Craig Roberts....

In the first decade of the 21st century, Americans lost 5,500,000 manufacturing jobs. US employment in the manufacture of computer and electronic products fell by 40%; in the production of machinery by 30%, in motor vehicles and and parts by 44%, and in the manufacture of clothing by 66%.

#10 Our economic infrastructure is being torn apart right in front of our eyes.  In 2010, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.  Overall, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have shut down since 2001.

We have made it legal for big corporations to send millions of jobs to countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages, where the tax burden is much lighter and where there are barely any regulations.  The following is a brief excerpt from a recent article posted on Economy in Crisis....

Back in the ‘80s, I called my friend Walter in California and asked: “On your next expansion we need a plant in South Carolina.” Walter replied: “We don’t produce anything in the United States. It’s all in China. China furnishes you the plant on a year-to-year basis. If your investment works out, you don’t have to pay any corporate tax; just reinvest it for another plant and more profit. If it doesn’t work out, you can walk away with no legacy costs. I send a quality controller to watch production. I check on it every day. I don’t have any labor, health, safety, or environmental concerns, and have time to play a round of golf.” The bleeding of jobs off-shore started in the ‘80s — now hemorrhages under Bush and Obama. Waiting for the economy to bounce back; calling this “the worst recession” is a bum rap. The reason the economy hasn’t bounced back since 2008 is because the economy is being off-shored.

#11  As a result of our insane economic policies, our trade balances are absolutely exploding.  For example, the U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#12 As you read this, there are millions of Americans out there wondering why they can't find any jobs.  According to Reuters, 23.7 million American workers are either unemployed or underemployed right now.

#13 The number of good jobs has been steadily shrinking in America.  Since the year 2000, the United States has lost 10% of its middle class jobs.  In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs.

#14 Over the last three decades, the percentage of low income jobs has consistently risen.  Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

#15 The number of middle class neighborhoods also continues to decline.  In 1970, 65 percent of all Americans lived in "middle class neighborhoods".  By 2007, only 44 percent of all Americans lived in "middle class neighborhoods".

#16 A decade ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult.  By 2010, the United States had fallen to seventh.

#17 Our incomes continue to go down.  Since December 2007, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8% once you account for inflation.

#18 Unfortunately, middle class Americans have been seeing their incomes decline for a very long time.  According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

#19 Since 1971, consumer debt in the United States has increased by a whopping 1700%.  Unfortunately, U.S. consumers have still not learned how to stay out of debt.  According to a recent article posted on Financial Armageddon, the rate of personal savings in the United States is rapidly falling right now at the same time that the total amount of consumer credit is absolutely skyrocketing.

#20 The number of children living in poverty in America keeps rising year after year. The percentage of children living in poverty in the United States increased from 16.9 percent in 2006 to nearly 22 percent in 2010.

#21 The number of Americans on food stamps continues to set new all-time records.  Just check out the following progression....

October 2008: 30.8 million Americans on food stamps

October 2009: 37.6 million Americans on food stamps

October 2010: 43.2 million Americans on food stamps

October 2011: 46.2 million Americans on food stamps

#22 The U.S. debt problem has gotten completely and totally out of control.  Recently, the debt of the federal government surpassed 100% of GDP for the first time ever.

#23 During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.

#24 Barack Obama's proposed 2012 budget projects that the national debt will rise to 26 trillion dollars a decade from now.  And his budget numbers are ridiculously optimistic.

Are you starting to get the picture?

All of the long-term economic numbers are progressively getting worse.

As the economy continues to crumble, large numbers of Americans are becoming really desperate.  For example, a recent Mother Jones article detailed how large numbers of formerly middle class Americans are now actually growing marijuana in an effort to make ends meet.

As things continue to get worse, people will become even more desperate.  There are millions of people out there that find themselves unable to pay the mortgage and put food on the table for their families.  When people hit rock bottom, they often find themselves doing things that they never dreamed that they would do.

Meanwhile, the big Wall Street banks just keep getting larger and more powerful.  We have allowed the "too big to fail" banks to become much bigger than they have ever been before.  The total assets of the six largest U.S. banks increased by 39 percent between September 30, 2006 and September 30, 2011.

Wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated at the very top even as the overall economic pie in America continues to get smaller.

As our economic problems become worse, more Americans than ever are trying to find ways to "escape".

For example, according to one new government report one out of every six adults in America is a binge drinker.

Other Americans "tune out" by watching endless hours of television, by playing endless hours of video games or by indulging in endless hours of other forms of entertainment.

There are even some Americans that are giving up completely.  For example, one elderly man actually robbed a bank just so that he could get arrested and be taken to prison where he would get free health care.

But as I have written about previously, now is not the time to give up.  Instead, now is the time to prepare for the great challenges that are ahead.

Almost every generation in history has been faced with great challenges and great hardships at some point.

Yes, there will be some incredibly hard times ahead, but that also means that there will be a need for some great heroes.

Just because the U.S. economy is falling apart does not mean that life is over.

We are living during one of the most exciting times in all of human history.  Instead of cowering in fear, let us embrace these times and focus on becoming the people that we were created to be.

Please follow Business Insider on Twitter and Facebook.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/michael-snyder-economic-collapse-2012-1#ixzz1jLyiEm00

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« Reply #605 on: January 13, 2012, 10:40:16 AM »

http://news.investors.com/Article/597677/201201121844/us-declines-in-world-economic-freedom-rankings.htm


Its intentional.   Obama is trying to end this nation.   
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« Reply #606 on: January 17, 2012, 02:14:25 PM »

Kraft to cut 1,600 positions in North America (The Obama Recovery continues...)
Chicago Tribune ^ | 1/17/12 | Emily Bryson York




Kraft Foods plans to cut 1,600 positions in the U.S. and Canada this year as it prepares to split into two companies, the Northfield-based packaged food giant announced Tuesday.

Representing 3.4 percent of Kraft's North American 46,500 employees, the positions are primarily in sales, corporate and its business units, as the company plans to close three corporate offices.


(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...


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« Reply #607 on: January 19, 2012, 02:49:52 PM »

The Only 26 US Cities That Have Regained All Of The Jobs They Lost During The Recession
Business Insider ^ | 01/19/2012 | Mamta Badkar




There are a 154 million workers in the U.S., and the current 8.5%, unemployment rate means about 13.1 million Americans are still out of work.

A new report commissioned by the United States Council for Mayors and prepared by IHS Global Insight shows that only 26 of 363 metropolitan statistical areas have completely recovered the jobs they lost during the recession.

We drew on the report to show the number of jobs these metros lost during the recession, their pre-recession peak level, and the metro area's employment level as a share of overall state employment.

Note: The “pre-recession peak” date varies from metro area to metro area, but represents a quarter between Q1 2007 and Q2 2009, where the metro area reached its highest employment before suffering recession job losses.


(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...







9 are in Texas BTW   
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« Reply #608 on: January 22, 2012, 06:32:13 AM »

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High Rents, Low Wages and the Coming Homeless Surge
Fiscal Times ^ | 01/22/2012 | By MICHELLE HIRSCH and ALIX PIANIN
Posted on January 22, 2012 8:36:13 AM EST by SeekAndFind

Get ready for the next big financial bubble—the growth of America’s homeless population.

The biggest boon for the homeless was President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package, that appropriated $1.5 billion to the Homeless Prevention and Rapid-Re-Housing Program that temporarily aided homeless and near-homeless households. According to a report issued Wednesday by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the program has helped more than one million impoverished individuals find housing, but it is set to end this fall.

“The resources provided by [the program] have run out in many communities … and the debt and deficit at the federal level have already begun to shrink assistance available to the most vulnerable,” Nan Roman, president and CEO of NAEH, said at a news conference. “The failure to sustain this early recipe for success threatens to undermine progress now and in the future.” A separate report from the same organization released in September noted that the ranks of the nation’s homeless could swell by five percent over the next three years if no similar programs replace the program.

The View from the Street Veda Simpson, a former methadone addict, was homeless for ten years, living in shelters, crack houses and what she dubbed “abandominiums” in public housing complexes. Then last year, thanks to a federal housing voucher, she moved into an apartment in Washington, D.C.’s North Capitol area.

“I used to go in the kitchen and fit my body up under the sink in the cabinet—you have to adjust your body to get up under there—and I used to have to sleep in there so security wouldn’t find me,” Simpson told the Fiscal Times. “I slept in there for about six months, and it was rough.”

Simpson, a vendor for StreetSense, a daily newspaper about the homeless, is one of thousands of people who managed to get off the streets and into housing in recent years, despite one of the worst recessions in modern history, according to experts and homeless advocates. Now she lives in subsidized housing with her eight cats, and says she is two months away from earning certification as a veterinary technician through an online program. “It’s really hard being homeless,” she said. “I don’t see nobody who wants to continue like that. They’re trying to better themselves.”

There are glimmers of good news about the homeless. The NAEH report found a slight decrease in the overall number of people living on the street between 2009 and 2011 -- the ranks of the nation’s homeless fell by one percent, or about 7,000 people.

Across the country, 636,017 people were identified as homeless in 2011 compared to 643,067 in 2009, according to the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, Commerce and Health and Human Services.

With the troubling spectacle of homeless people and panhandlers loitering on street corners of downtown areas in many cities, it’s hard to imagine that the problem of homelessness is actually waning. The NAEH study cautions that the plight of the homeless is likely to grow more acute because of low-paying jobs, high housing costs and the loss of emergency federal assistance.

Double-Up Trouble One of the report’s chief findings is that the number of people “doubling up”—living with friends, family, or nonrelatives—rose by more than 50 percent between 2005 and 2010, and 13 percent between 2009 and 2010. Those arrangements are the most common gateway to homelessness, and the increases mean more people are getting to that “last stage” before they are forced onto the streets, Roman said. “Doubled-up people have an elevated risk of homelessness….Thirty percent of all homeless shelter residents and 44 percent of adults in families who use homeless shelters were doubled-up prior to entering the shelter system,” the report said.

Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., told reporters that children are bearing the worst of the emotional brunt of “doubling up,” and many of them show that by acting up in school.

“The homeless people I see are not alcoholic, drunk men lying on a grate—the stereotype of a homeless person,” said Moore, a member of both the House Budget and Financial Services Committees. “They’re kids who live with grandma one weekend, the other grandma the next, auntie the next week, moving from school to school to school.”

The report also highlights the fast rising number of poor households that are devoting more than half their income to rent. Those families and groups are highly vulnerable to losing their housing in the coming years, the report stated. Between 2007 and 2010, there was a 22 percent increase in the number of these so-called “severely housing cost burdened” households.

Shamekia Murray knows this situation all too well. She couldn’t keep up with her rent payments after she was forced to accept a $15,000-a-year pay cut at her Washington, D.C. community health clinic job. She and her then-five-year-old son were evicted from their apartment and her car was repossessed.

Murray and her son slept on friends’ and family members’ sofas for eight months, while she continued to hold down her job as a dental assistant. “I wasn’t used to having to ask someone, ‘Can I borrow $20 to pay for the Metro subway?’ I was used to turning the key in my own home, having family gatherings, and having my son sleep in his own bed. “All that got taken away from me in less than a year,” she added. “It got to the point where I just broke inside.”

Murray, now 33, sought transitional housing for eight months to get on her feet before going out on her own. She recently received a job promotion, and now rents a two-bedroom apartment. “It’s a matter of knowing what it is that you want, and knowing that you’re not ever going to go back,” she said.
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« Reply #609 on: January 23, 2012, 06:53:02 AM »

CURL: The truly dismal state of the union
By Joseph Curl
-
The Washington Times
Sunday, January 22, 2012


ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There is one person — one American among the 300 million of us — who is not to blame for the state of the union. Everyone else, each of you, in some small or large way, bears some share of the blame, but not this guy. Not one little bit.

This guy is Barack Obama. He is not the least bit to blame for the dismal state of the U.S. economy. George W. Bush is, for sure, and that evil Dick Cheney, oh, no doubt. House Speaker John A. Boehner — evil, too — is, of course, to blame. But guess what? So is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and every Democrat in the House and Senate.

Now, President Truman made it very clear: The buck stops with him. No passing the buck for that guy. But Mr. Obama blames everyone but himself. Mr. Bush, he says, left the nation in a ditch, a deep ditch, and he's been digging out since he took office. And Congress? Those guys are just plain awful, he says. So mean. Wah, they won't do anything I want done! Mr. Obama feels so sure about it that he's basing his re-election campaign on bashing Capitol Hill.

But with the president delivering his State of the Union speech to Congress Tuesday night, let's pause here to take as hard look at the real state of America, by the numbers, using only cold, hard facts.

The unemployment rate when Mr. Obama was elected was 6.8 percent; today it is 8.5 percent — at least that's the official number. In reality, the Financial Times writes, "if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent."

In addition, there are now fewer payroll jobs in America than there were in 2000 — 12 years ago — and now, 40 percent of those jobs are considered "low paying," up 10 percent from when President Reagan took office. The number of self-employed has dropped 2 million to 14.5 million in just six years.

Regular gasoline per gallon cost $1.68 in January 2009. Today, it's $3.39 — that's a 102 percent increase in just three years. (By the way, if you're keeping score at home, gas was $1.40 a gallon when George W. Bush took office in 2001, $1.68 when he left office — a 20 percent increase.)

Electricity bills have also skyrocketed, with households now paying a record $1,420 annually on average, up some $300.

Some 48 percent of all Americans — 146.4 million — are considered by the Census Bureau either as "low-income" or living in poverty, up 4 million from when Mr. Obama took office; 57 percent of all children in America now live in such homes.

Since December 2008, a month before Mr. Obama took office, food-stamp use has increased 46 percent. Total spending has more than doubled in just four years to a record high of $75 billion. In 2011, more than 46 million people — about one in seven Americans — got food stamps. That's 14 million more than when Mr. Obama took office.

Median household income has dropped nearly 7 percent in the last six years, taking inflation into account. What's more, nearly 20 percent of males age 25 to 34 now live with their parents.

Low- and middle-income Americans 65 and older now hold more than $10,000 in credit card debt, up 26 percent since 2005. The average age of the American car is 10 years; in 1990, it was 6.5 years old (by the way, in 1985, Americans bought 11 million cars; in 2009, less than half that, 5.4 million).

On the macro side, America's annual budget has jumped to $3.8 trillion — and yet the United States brings in only about $2.1 trillion in revenue. The U.S. trade deficit for 2011 was $558 billion. America's total public debt stands at $15.23 trillion; in January 2009, the debt was $10.62 trillion. Mr. Obama is on pace to borrow $6.2 trillion in just one term — more debt than was amassed by all presidents from Washington through Bill Clinton combined. The debt is rising by $4.2 billion every day — $175 million per hour, nearly $3 million per minute.

So, America, that is the State of Your Union. But remember, Mr. Obama had not one thing to do with it. So don't blame him when you go to the polls. Blame everyone else, especially yourself.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at jcurl@washingtontimes.com.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/22/curl-the-truly-dismal-state-of-the-union/print


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« Reply #610 on: January 23, 2012, 01:31:43 PM »

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/us-unrecovery


Wow.   Crazy article and graphs 
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« Reply #611 on: January 23, 2012, 09:29:30 PM »

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The 10 Worst Cities for Finding a Job
Yahoo Finance | US News & World Report ^ | 01/23/2012 | Danielle Kurtzleben
Posted on January 23, 2012 11:31:09 PM EST by Olog-hai

Vicious cycles of debt and irresponsible lending helped to cause the Great Recession, and now another vicious cycle of housing weakness and unemployment is keeping many cities from recovering. …

Of the 10 metropolitan areas with the toughest job situations, seven are in California. Cities in the Golden State, as well as in Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, have suffered greatly from falling housing prices and high unemployment. These places saw skyrocketing home prices during the housing bubble. After it became clear that many buyers had purchased homes well out of their price range and the market collapsed, many of those houses went vacant. …

Among U.S. metropolitan areas with 200,000 people or more, here are the 10 worst metro areas for finding a job.

Metro Area   Unemployment Rate, Nov. 2011   Y-Y Change
1. Merced, Calif.   16.9   -1.7
2. Fresno, Calif.   15.7   -1.7
3. Modesto, Calif.   15.5   -1.7
4. Stockton, Calif.   15.5   -2.3
5. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.   15   -1.8
6. Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J.   12.4   0.1
7. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif.   13.4   -2.2
8. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, N.C.   11.7   -0.7
9. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.   12.5   -2.0
10. Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas   11.2   -0.5
. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...

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« Reply #612 on: January 25, 2012, 03:50:14 AM »


A Generation Losing Hope: The Shattering of the American Dream
By Frank Ryan

 
Before our very eyes, a generation of Americans is losing faith in the American dream and adopting attitudes and behaviors that emphasize living for the day, not planning to take care of their own futures.  They clearly see the problems ahead and draw rational conclusions.
Most of our problems have been caused by government.  The unintended consequences of poorly thought out legislation or legislation designed merely to garner votes for re-election is wreaking havoc on economic opportunity for our country.
For one, the regulatory burden by our government on economic growth is well-known.  The regulatory impact of the Dodd-Frank bill, the Affordable Care Act, No Child Left Behind, and the EPA all influence costs but, concurrently, adversely affect productivity and our competitiveness in world markets.
The Social Security underfunding has been known since the mid-1970s, yet Congress has failed to enact any meaningful solution to the problem.  The most recent extension of the 2% tax holiday on the FICA tax will only exacerbate the budget shortfall.
 The cost of college education has continued to skyrocket such that student debt is at an all-time high.  Many students now find it almost impossible to repay their student loans.
The cost of medical insurance and medical care is prohibitive for most Americans.  The Affordable Care Act was passed with the intent of providing insurance for all Americans.  In reality, all the Act does is reduce income for the medical care providers and increase costs for younger workers.   
Concurrently, despite rapidly dropping home prices, homes are not appreciably more affordable for the average American.  Increasing property taxes, pay freezes, and tighter credit standards have made home ownership seem less likely for today's generation.    
When all of these issues and structural changes are reviewed, it should be no wonder that the millennial generation views work differently from how an older-generation worker does.
 In a class that I recently presented to a group of CPAs, I mentioned these structural changes as a cause for concern in attempts to restart the economy.  I indicated that my concern was that today's employee may not be taking a long-term perspective toward his career and their community.
A student suggested to me that her generation had lost hope.  I was a little stunned by her remark.  Her response was not that they have lost hope for themselves, but instead that they have lost hope in the system.
The student indicated that the people of her generation have no hope of receiving Social Security, yet they are paying into it.  Furthermore, the people of her generation understand that they will have to provide for their retirement while attempting to pay off substantial student loans, thereby further cutting disposal income.  She also indicated that her generation realizes that investing in equities for a better future has borne limited results, as seen by the decimated 401(k) plans and IRAs, such that continued investing makes little sense.
The student then went on to advise me that parents are living longer, and her generation expects to need to care for aging parents.   
The student was convinced that all that she was taught by her parents -- to save, to work hard, to provide for another day -- is pure fiction.  Her parents' American Dream is her generation's nightmare.
She and her generation have seen bad behaviors continuously rewarded by our government.  They have seen the victimization of society in the minds of elected leaders with no one held accountable for his or her actions.  The current generation has seen an unparalleled growth of entitlement behavior in many of their peers.
The net result of all of this is that the productive element of her generation intends to live for the moment.  She and her friends intend to achieve a work-life balance that properly reflects this new understanding of what life will be like for her generation.  In their minds, why plan for retirement if retirement is never an option?    
My student received a rousing ovation.  It turns out that my students, young and old alike, agreed with her completely.   
Is this what has our country come to?  What have our elected leaders done to our nation in the name of getting re-elected?
It is time that we demand that our nation re-establish its moral compass.  It is essential that we reward hard work and end the mentality of an "entitled society."  It is essential that our society make our decisions based upon the long run, not based upon the short run, if we are to recreate the American Dream of a better tomorrow for our children.

If our nation fails to understand the consequences of this short-term thinking, our days as a great nation will have ended.   

The time for serious solutions to serious problems has come.  The decision is yours.  The decision is mine.  Our government works for us, not the other way around.  Demand serious solutions to serious problems.
Frank Ryan, CPA specializes in corporate restructuring and lectures on ethics for the state CPA societies.  Frank is a retired colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve and served in Iraq and briefly in Afghanistan.  He is on numerous boards of publicly traded and non-profit organizations.  He can be reached at FRYAN1951@aol.com.

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« Reply #613 on: January 26, 2012, 09:36:55 AM »

..US new-home sales fell in Dec., finish dismal 2011


By DEREK KRAVITZ | Associated Press – 1 hr 2 mins ago....EmailNew: Now the email button gives you a quick and easy way to start a conversation.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans bought new homes in December, making 2011 the worst sales year on record.

The Commerce Department says new-home sales fell last month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 307,000. The pace is less than half the 700,000 that economists say must be sold in a healthy economy.

Total sales last year were less than the 323,000 sold in 2010, making it the worst year on records dating back to 1963.

The median sales prices for new homes dropped in December, as builders continued to slash prices. It fell 2.5 percent to $210,300.

The decline in sales comes as other signs suggest the depressed housing market is starting to recover. Construction picked up, sales of previously occupied homes are rising, and builders are slightly more confident.

..














HOPE AND FUCKING CHANGE YOU ASSHOLES! 
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« Reply #614 on: January 30, 2012, 10:09:48 AM »

HUSSMAN: This Pace Of GDP Growth Is 'Always' Associated With Recession
TBI ^ | 1-30-2012 | Joe Weisenthal




HUSSMAN: This Pace Of GDP Growth Is 'Always' Associated With Recession

Joe Weisenthal
January 30, 2012

Fund manager John Hussman continues to hammer away at the economy and the market.

His latest note is called Goat Rodeo, which is defined as: "Appalachian slang for a chaotic, high-risk, or unmanageable scenario requiring countless things to go right in order to walk away unharmed."

After discussing the leading indicators, he writes:

...while we typically discourage drawing inferences from any single indicator, it's at least worth noting that with the release of Q4 GDP figures, the year-over-year growth rate of real U.S. GDP remains below 1.6% (denoted by the red line below). A decline in GDP growth to this level has always been associated with recession, usually coincident with that decline, though with a two-quarter lag in two instances (1956 and 2007), and with one post-recession dip in growth during the first quarter of 2003. As it happens, the GDP growth rate dropped below 1.6% in the third quarter of 2011.




Given the strong and rather obvious relationship between the most recent year-over-year rate of GDP growth and the prospect of oncoming recession, it's difficult to understand why Wall Street so completely rejects the likelihood of an economic downturn. Then again, that's exactly why we're expecting a Goat Rodeo.

Read the whole thing >


(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
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« Reply #615 on: February 01, 2012, 04:46:57 AM »

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Home prices fall more than expected (Obama's Fault!)
MSNBC ^ | 1/31/2012 | staff
Posted on February 1, 2012 6:17:19 AM EST by tobyhill

U.S. single-family home prices fell more than expected in November, highlighting a sector that continues to struggle to make a meaningful recovery, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.

The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas declined 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, a bigger drop than the 0.5 percent economists had expected.

The decrease added on to the 0.7 percent decline seen in October. The new data suggest the home price index has “taken a turn for the worse,” Ellen Zentner, an economist at Nomura, said in a research note.

Home prices continue to decline “despite continued low interest rates and better real GDP growth in the fourth quarter,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s. “The trend is down and there are few, if any, signs in the numbers that a turning point is close at hand.”

(Excerpt) Read more at bottomline.msnbc.msn.com ...
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« Reply #616 on: February 01, 2012, 05:08:28 AM »

U.S. home prices fell for a third straight month in nearly all cities tracked by a major index. The declines show that most homeowners are not reaping the benefits from some signs of an improving housing market.


Getty Images

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price index shows prices dropped in November from October in 19 of the 20 cities tracked.

The biggest declines were in Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. Phoenix was the only city to show an increase.

Prices declined in 18 of the 20 cities in November compared to the same month in 2010. Only Washington and Detroit posted year-over-year increases.

"As much as anything else, when one looks at housing there are hints at better times in terms of supply, in terms of single-family starts," David Blitzer, chairman of the Standard & Poor's Index Committee, told CNBC. "Prices will probably be the last thing to move. We have to get demand up, we have to tighten supply a bit before we will see any shift in prices and we haven't seen that."

The decline partly reflects the typical fall slowdown after the peak buying season. Still, prices have fallen 33 percent nationwide to 2003 levels.


RELATED LINKS
More 'Help' for DelinquenciesSlideshow: Urban MansionsTreasury Probes Freddie Mac BetGlitch in Robo Settlement
© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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« Reply #617 on: February 01, 2012, 05:39:09 AM »

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/story/2012-01-31/home-prices-ownership/52907436/1?loc=interstitialskip


Nice. 
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« Reply #618 on: February 01, 2012, 09:41:43 AM »

AA to Cut Up to 15,000 Jobs

1,000 jobs expected to be lost at AllianceBy Scott Friedman|  Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012  |  Updated 9:39 AM CST
AP



The company may cut up to 15,000 jobs.


NBC 5 has learned that Fort Worth-based American Airlines may cut between 10,000 and 15,000 jobs across the company.

Sources familiar with the plan said they company plans to announce the cuts during a meeting Wednesday morning in Fort Worth.

It is estimated that 1,000 of those jobs to be cut will be at the company's maintenance base at Alliance Airport in north Fort Worth.

After the company presents the plan they will begin negotiating with unions, so the final numbers of lost jobs lost may change.

American Airlines' parent company AMR filed for bankruptcy in November of last year and said Tuesday that they lost $904 million in the month of December -- more than the first nine months of 2011 combined.

NBC 5 will have more on this story throughout the day.

NBC 5's Frank Heinz contributed to this report.
 

 
 
 
 

 
Find this article at:
http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/business/AA-to-Cut-Up-to-15000-Jobs-138477399.html?dr

 











HOPE AND CHANGE ASSHOLES!
 
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« Reply #619 on: February 01, 2012, 09:44:23 AM »

Bad Economy Forces Welfare Agency Hiring Spree

The city’s Human Resources Administration has already hired 100 new employees and plans to hire another 100.


Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012  |  Updated 9:39 AM EST


Getty Images




Economic woes have forced at least one city agency into a hiring spree -- adding more workers to process the demand for food stamps and other assistance.

The Human Resources Administration added more than 100 workers last July and plans to hire another 100 to serve the burgeoning number of New Yorkers applying for food stamps and rent assistance at their offices, according to the Daily News.

About 1.8 million New Yorkers are now on food stamps, which marks nearly a 65 percent increase from four years ago, according to city records. The increase in applicants has led to overcrowding at HRA offices throughout the city, and the agency said at a council hearing Tuesday that it had to hire scores of new workers and supervisors to manage the situation.

The HRA has also expanded its waiting rooms to accommodate the swell in applicants.

The city implemented a web-based food-stamp application program last year, but applicants still must be finger-printed at HRA centers before they can become eligible for benefits.

Advocates for the poor applauded HRA’s efforts to address overcrowding but, citing a survey that found long wait lines prevent nearly half of applicants from receiving welfare benefits, said more needs to be done.

“HRA faces an overcrowding emergency that is a result of a high level of need resulting from a lagging economy in the wake of the great recession,” said Liz Accles, an analyst for the advocacy group Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, according to the News.

The HRA’s deputy commissioner said alleviating overcrowding is a top priority.

The agency has recently lost $200 million in state funding due to budget cuts.
 

 
 
 
 

 
Find this article at:
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Welfare-Human-Resources-Administration-Food-Stamp-Rent-Assistance-New-York-City-138471289.html?dr


 
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« Reply #620 on: February 01, 2012, 11:10:21 AM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/wow-the-cbo-projects-13-less-growth-than-the-fed-2012-2


Wow.   How will thugbama spin this disaster?   
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« Reply #621 on: February 06, 2012, 09:56:00 AM »

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Huge Plunge In Petroleum and Gasoline Usage
Global Economic Trend Analysis ^ | 2/6/12 | Mish Shedlock
Posted on February 6, 2012 12:00:17 PM EST by DeaconBenjamin

Reader Tim Wallace writes

Hello Mish

As I have been telling you recently, there is some unprecedented data coming out in petroleum distillates, and they slap me in the face and tell me we have some very bad economic trends going on, totally out of line with such things as the hopium market - I mean stock market.

This past week I actually had to reformat my graphs as the drop off peak exceeded my bottom number for reporting off peak - a drop of ALMOST 4,000,000 BARRELS PER DAY off the peak usage in our past for this week of the year.

I have added a new graph to my distillates report, a "Graph of Raw Data" to which I have added a polynomial trendline. You can easily see that the plunge is accelerating and more than rivals 2008/09 and in gasoline is greatly exceeding the rate.

An amazing thing to note is that in two out of the last three weeks gasoline usage has dropped below 8,000,000 barrels per day.

The last time usage fell that low was the week of September 21, 2001! And you know what that week was! Prior to that you have to go back to 1996 to have a time period truly consistently below 8,000. We have done it two out of the last three weeks.

The second graph once again shows the year on year change in usage of distillates. The Obama "stimulus" package and Fed monetary actions masked the underlying systemic problems.

The third and final graph shows the changes in usage off the peak year of 2007. Once again you can see the effect of the stimulus and how now we are heading below 2008/09 in an accelerating fashion.

Looking at these numbers I believe we are about to have a surge in unemployment - by the end of April latest, possibly as early as beginning of March.
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« Reply #622 on: February 08, 2012, 06:48:32 AM »

Study: Government Dependence Shoots Up 23% Under President Obama
Investor's Business Daily ^ | 2/8/2012 | John Merline




The American public's dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the Heritage Foundation.


(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...
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« Reply #623 on: February 08, 2012, 08:39:08 PM »

Wow.   


http://www.boston.com/jobs/news/articles/2012/02/08/more_than_5_million_people_missing_from_the_us_labor_force/?p1=News_links


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« Reply #624 on: February 15, 2012, 02:48:05 PM »

Gallup: 85% of small businesses not hiring.
Hotair ^ | 02/15/2012 | Ed Morrissey





Gallup polled small-business owners (value under $20M) about their expansion plans in early January, which for some strange reason didn’t get reported until today. Among those who do not plan to hire — 85% of the entire sample — almost half of all such businesses cited expected costs from health care coverage and government regulation:


U.S. small-business owners who aren’t hiring — 85% of those surveyed — are most likely to say the reasons they are not doing so include not needing additional employees; worries about weak business conditions, including revenues; cash flow; and the overall U.S. economy. Additionally, nearly half of small-business owners point to potential healthcare costs (48%) and government regulations (46%) as reasons. One in four are not hiring because they worry they may not be in business in 12 months.


Remember all of those hiring tax credits Obama included in his stimulus bill and in his proposals in the State of the Union speech? What kind of impact did they have on hiring plans among the 15% of businesses looking to expand? Not much:

Small-business owners who are currently hiring are most likely to say they are doing so because their business operations expanded, consumer or business demand increased, sales and revenues justify adding more employees, and they need to replace an employee who left. Thirteen percent of owners point to their ability to get new capital, while 7% indicate they were influenced by government tax incentives.

Seven percent of a subset of 15% think Obama’s economic plans have helped them. Forty-six percent of a subset of 85% think Obama’s regulations hurt them. What does that say about Obama’s policies? Small businesses are looking at this administration and seeing hostility and costly interference rather than a partner for long-term investment — and for very good reasons, one might add.


Respondents could choose multiple reasons in the survey, and the two most cited reasons for non-expansion are a lack of need for more employees and a lack of sales volume to justify hiring, which are of course related. Coming in a close third at 66% are worries over the status of the economy, which probably comes rationally from seeing the lack of demand that would allow these businesses to grow. Considering that small businesses of this class are the engine of job creation, this signals that we will not see any rapid expansion of employment in the near term, much as the CBO predicted last month. It’s a vote of no-confidence from the innovators and risk-takers that drive our economy.

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