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Tapping the estimated $19.4 trillion dollars in private pension plans is every progressive socialist's wet dream. I warned you Obama had his eye on your 401(k), and now a little noticed Supreme Court ruling just gave him the green light to seize your money.
The US Supreme Court ruled last week in the unanimous, 8-page decision in Tibble v. Edison holding that employers have a duty to protect workers in their 401(k) plans from mutual funds that are too expensive or perform poorly. That is simply astonishing since there is no constitutional requirement for even government to provide social benefits.
Remember when the Constitution provided a limit to government power?
Yeah, me neither.
Now the Constitution says the government has to protect you from your own bad investment decisions. Er, SCOTUS says the government has to protect you from your own bad investment decisions. The Constitution is silent on the matter. But, emanations of penumbras, or some such rubbish dontcha know.
Monday's unanimous ruling sends a warning to employers that they now must improve their plans and it is now an obligation to project employees. This comes just in time for then the next step is government to seize private funds and prosecute employers who choose badly a fund manager. This fits perfectly just in time for the Obama administration's next assault as they prepare a landmark change of its own by issuing rules requiring that financial advisers put the interest of customers ahead of their own. This creates a very gray area wide enough to justify public seizure of pension funds under management.
Read that again, in case you didn't catch the part where the government is going to decide if your 401(k) is "good enough."
Yet this decision is even deeper. It sets the stage to JUSTIFY government seizure of private pension funds to protect pensioners. When the economy turns down and things get messy, they are placing measures in place to eliminate money in and physical physical dimension, closing all tax loopholes, shutting down the world economy with FATCA, and preparing for the final straw of Economic Totalitarianism with the Supreme Court reversing its entire construction of the Constitution to impose a duty upon employers to ensure the 401K plans perform in a world where interest rates are going negative. You really cannot make up this level of insanity.
Oh, this level of insanity is just what a guy like Bernie Sanders ordered. It's the nanny state, writ large.
Bureaucrats answerable to Sanders' cohort Elizabeth Warren will now get to decide if your 401(k) plan cuts the mustard. They'll arbitrarily set a cap on management fees, and punish any fund that exceeds their idea of a "reasonable" profit.
The punishment? Seizing the fund's assets, and forcing your money into an investment in Treasury bonds.
Then you're just another creditor to Obama, standing in line behind all the geezers on Social Security. Good luck getting paid, after all you're also collecting Social Security, and sooner or later you've made enough money.
Between the court ruling and the Obama administration's push for stronger fiduciary rules send a strong message that government can much easier seize the pension fund management industry of course to "protect the consumer."
Who's gonna protect us from the government?
You knuckleheads shoulda thought that through before you elected a committed
Marxist to the presidency.
The unemployment picture in New Jersey is supposedly starting to look better.
New Jersey's employment picture brightened Wednesday with the release of figures for April showing the state added 4,300 jobs, the 10th consecutive monthly increase.
The state added 300 private-sector jobs and 4,000 government jobs, according to the monthly employment report by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Congratulations on finally landing that job! Unfortunately, as one of only 300 new private sector hires, you're now responsible for carrying 13 freshly minted bureaucrats too.
Hey, government's gotta govern, and governing ain't easy. Those regulations don't write themselves you know! Bureaucracy begets bureaucracy, and Steve Sweeney can't ride into Drumthwacket without thousands more public employee unionistas dutifully contributing to his campaign fund.
So, that's where you come in! Before taking care of mundane things like feeding
your family, please sign over your paycheck to "State of New Jersey - TGI"
and mail it in the enclosed envelope. The taxes in this state are never
gonna go down, so you might as well get used to forking over all your
money for the government to
waste "invest" as they see fit.
Thank you for your cooperation.
The Obamabots will tell you the economy is "improving," because their Dear Leader has created millions of new jobs.
What they won't tell you is what kind of jobs he's managed to create.
Lots and lots of low-pay, low-skill, dead-end jobs.
As in, "do you want fries with that?"
In a post-recession world where many once-familiar occupations continue to automate, move offshore or disappear outright, one of the most basic questions remains:
It turns out the vast preponderance of job openings these days consists of low-skill, hourly wage work with high turnover.
The current slate of "help wanted" ads overwhelmingly involves cashiers, waitresses and waiters, personal care aides, janitors, those who stock store shelves, and the likes of Hardee's and Taco Bell.
Of the top 10 "Occupations with the Most Openings," nine fall into government-designated wage categories of "very low" and "low," according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The proliferation of bottom-rung openings casts a light on an epidemic transformation within the national economy, one that has been accompanied by a long-term contraction of middle-skill occupations that often pay family-supporting wages.
"Workers in many types of middle-rank positions — such as skilled production-line workers and people in clerical or administrative jobs — have had to migrate into jobs as food-service workers, home health-care aides, child-care employees and security guards," according to a study by David Autor, economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
For Obama so loved the poor, he made millions more of them.
"This is not an overall improvement in job quality," Autor said. "The problem with many of these jobs is they require fairly generic skill sets, which means workers have limited negotiating power and are fairly interchangeable. These are not, in general, attractive jobs."
What's remarkable is how deeply the low-wage sector — once seen as temporary and transitional — has entrenched itself in the world of work.
According to the Labor Department, the No. 1 employment opportunity in the U.S. is for retail salespeople.
Typical retail work requires "less than high school" education.
Retail jobs do not always pay well, but there are plenty of them: Nearly 200,000 open up on average each year in the U.S.
And who's competing for those retail jobs? Obama's DREAMers, illegal aliens, here to ensure you'll never work again.
No wonder then that so many Americans have simply given up on looking for real work. Why bother? There aren't any more good jobs out there.
The only other growth sector? Government. Hey, Big Brother is always hiring.
And always getting in the way.
Congratulations New Jersey workers. If you're crazy enough to have a job, you'll spend the first 4½ months of this year toiling to support the moocher class.
New Jerseyans will have to work an extra four days this year to be free of taxes, according to a report that once again says Garden State residents have the highest tax burden in the nation.
The right-leaning Tax Foundation's annual "tax freedom day" report card says residents in New Jersey and Connecticut will work the longest in the nation this year to pay off their taxes: until May 13. Last year, "tax freedom day" for both states was May 9.
"The sad reality is that every extra day middle-class taxpayers in New Jersey work to pay for government is one less day they are free to provide for their families, save for their child's education or their retirement, or to invest in their businesses in order to create jobs and opportunity," Americans for Prosperity State Director Erica Klemens said in a statement.
Government cheese ain't cheap.
And the people who vote for a living are never satisfied. They vote Democrat, because it's easier than getting a job.
Tell me again why I live here?
This past weekend I had an Obamabot angrily inform me that his Dear Leader has finally fixed George Bush's mess, and our economy is now roaring along like never before. "Just look at the stock market!," he sneered.
The irony of him working 3 part-time jobs (with no benefits) instead of the much higher-paying full-time 9-5 job he had during the Bush Administration was lost on him.
So I guess he won't believe his lyin' eyes today when he reads the latest news out of the Census Bureau. Or he'll blame Rethuglicans for sabotaging The One's munificence again.
Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation's economy tumbled in 2008.
Numbers released by the Census Bureau Wednesday as part of its annual look at children and families show that one in five children were on food stamp assistance in 2014. The survey was taken last spring.
The number of people receiving food stamps — now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — spiked through the recession and has stayed at a higher level since. In the 2007 Census survey, 9 million children received SNAP assistance.
So Obama managed to put 7 million additional children on food stamps. Yeah, that's how I measure a successful economic recovery, how about you?
Around 46.5 million people received food stamps last year, according to the Agriculture Department, which oversees the aid, up from around 26 million in 2007.
Twenty million more Americans living on the dole. Wow, I never knew Obama was such an economic genius!
The Obamabots, soon to be Hillary's horde, are deluded. They live in a fantasy universe, where progressive policies don't fail because they're wrong, they fail because they weren't progressive enough. If they could only tax a few more rich people (but not George Soros or Tom Steyer!) then everything would magically be perfect. Rachel Maddow said so! And she's smart!
Meanwhile, children in America go hungry. But well-fed liberals say they care, honest!, so there's that. The thing is, the more they care, the worse off the rest of America gets. Oops.
UPDATE 29 Jan 2015 11:49:
Oh look, the CBO predicts tepid economic growth, rising deficits for the forseeable future.
I guess it's somehow George Bush's fault.
Comrades! Pay no attention to the Reality behind the curtain. MSNBC is truth!
Look! Just in time for Christmas! That Obama guy finally got our economy back on track! Now get out there and spend, spend, spend!
At least that's what the media wants you to believe.
The U.S. economy roared into overdrive in the third quarter as consumer and business spending fueled the biggest expansion in more than a decade.
Gross domestic product grew at a 5 percent annual rate from July through September, the biggest advance since the third quarter of 2003 and up from a previously estimated 3.9 percent, revised figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 4.3 percent increase in GDP.
Sounds amazing, right?
It's also too good to be true. But journalists aren't known for their economic prowess. And they're fully invested in "proving" Obama's success.
So here's the dirty little secret they aren't telling you.
The Commerce Department fudged the numbers by inserting the entire year's worth of Obamacare spending into 3rd quarter GDP. Presto! Instant 5% growth!
Back in June, when we were looking at the final Q1 GDP print, we discovered something very surprising: after the BEA had first reported that absent for Obamacare, Q1 GDP would have been negative in its first Q1 GDP report, subsequent GDP prints imploded as a result of what is now believed to be the polar vortex. But the real surprise was that the Obamacare boost was, in the final print, revised massively lower to actually reduce GDP!
In layman's terms, they initially put Obamacare in to make Q1 look less bad, then took it out when nobody was looking after they decided to blame their woes on the "polar vortex."
Fast forward 6 months, and with a small uptick in actual consumer spending (probably due to those falling oil prices, for which, btw, Obama can't claim even one iota of credit), it's time to reinsert the Obamacare factor to really pump up the numbers.
Here's Tyler Durden's handy chart showing the Q3 GDP breakdown:
As you can see, without Obamacare the consumer spending numbers would still be abysmal.
In short, two-thirds of the "boost" to final Q3 personal consumption came from, drumroll, the same Obamacare which initially was supposed to boost Q1 GDP until the "polar vortex" crashed the number so badly, the BEA decided to pull it completely and leave this "growth dry powder" for another quarter. That quarter was Q3.
Our economy "grew" because the government forced 9 million people to buy health insurance.
What are they going to do for an encore? Force 9 million people to buy a car from Government Motors?
Oh well. As the saying goes, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Housing bubble? What housing bubble? Laissez les bon temps roller!
Yes America, thanks to Obama's cronies at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac you can once again buy a house with only 3% down, and the U.S. taxpayer will underwrite the loan!
Housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Monday released the final guidelines for low down payment mortgage loans, reviving a practice that critics say could eventually lead to defaults and another financial crisis.
Fannie and Freddie announced that eligible first-time homebuyers could now obtain mortgage loans with down payments as low as 3 percent. Both entities still purchase a majority of loans in the housing market and remain under government conservatorship after the 2008 crisis.
Fannie and Freddie, known as government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), said that borrowers would have to clear several hurdles before they could take out the loan. Those include obtaining private mortgage insurance, providing income documentation and verification, and seeking homebuyer education and counseling.
Which are exactly the same "hurdles" Countrywide erected before the last crash.
What was that line about those who refuse to learn the lessons of history?
Peter Wallison, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and former general counsel to the U.S. Treasury Department under President Ronald Reagan, said in an interview that the new loans could eventually inject more risk into the housing market.
Required premiums for mortgage insurance will raise the cost of homes, he argued, making them unaffordable for many buyers. Pressure will then mount to make the mortgages more accessible, and risky.
"When those loans do not really result in any significant numbers in increased low-income loans, they will reduce the underwriting standards further," he said.
"Eventually we'll be back in a situation a year from now in which many of these loans will look like the loans before the financial crisis," he added.
The low down payment loans could also be a political move to placate Democrats who have long pushed for looser lending standards to aid low-income borrowers, Wallison said.
Because requiring low-income people to actually pay their bills is racist. And Obama promised to pay their mortgage.
And by Obama, she means, us.
Wallison noted that taxpayers will again foot the bill if Fannie and Freddie's mortgage loans default in large numbers. Treasury provided $188 billion to the GSEs in 2008 to keep them afloat.
"The only reason banks will make these loans is that they can sell them to Fannie and Freddie," he said. "Taxpayers are going to take the risk."
Hey, what's another $188 billion or so when you're fighting for Social Justice?
Remember when we used to earn interest on our bank accounts? Ben Bernanke put a stop to that by printing money like it was going out of style. And now Janet Yellen is one-upping him. Forget zero interest, welcome to negative interest.
New Obama Administration reserve rules mean you'll have to pay the bank to store your money.
As the WSJ reports, far from paying for the privilege of holding other people's cash (and why would they with nearly $3 trillion in positive carry excess reserves sloshing around) US banks - primarily of the TBTF variety - "are urging some of their largest customers in the U.S. to take their cash elsewhere or be slapped with fees, citing new regulations that make it onerous for them to hold certain deposits."
The change upends one of the cornerstones of banking, in which deposits have been seen as one of the industry's most attractive forms of funding, said more than a dozen corporate officials, consultants and bank executives interviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Banks aren't using their deposits to make loans anymore because the Fed's trillions in excess reserves have made all that cash completely irrelevant.
And in a truly through-the-looking-glass paradox, the Fed says they're pushing this thievery in order to make bank deposits "safer."
U.S. banking rules set to go into effect Jan. 1 compound the issue, especially for deposits that are viewed as less likely to stay at the bank through difficult times.
The new U.S. rules, designed to make bank balance sheets more resistant to the types of shocks that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, will likely have little effect on retail deposits, insured up to $250,000 by federal deposit insurance. But the rules do affect larger deposits that often come from big corporations, smaller banks and big financial firms such as hedge funds. Hundreds of companies and other bank customers with deposits that exceed the insurance limits could be affected by the banks' actions.
Overall, about $4 trillion in deposits at banks in the U.S. were uninsured, covering more than 3.5 million accounts, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data
The rule primarily responsible involves the liquidity coverage ratio, overseen by the Federal Reserve and other banking regulators. The new measure, finalized in September, as well as some other recent global regulations, are designed to make banks safer by helping them manage sudden outflows of deposits in a crisis. The banks are required to maintain enough high-quality assets that could be converted into cash during a crisis to cover a projected flight of deposits over 30 days.
Because large, uninsured deposits would be expected to leave most quickly, the rule will now require that banks maintain reserves that they cannot use for profitable activities like making loans. That makes it much less efficient or profitable for banks to hold these deposits.
And what will the banks use to maintain these new reserves? Why the very financial instruments you'd want to move your now unprofitable deposits into.
Some argue that while it is a good policy on its face, the rule potentially magnifies problems in a recession by encouraging banks to hoard high-quality assets, potentially paralyzing markets for these assets such as Treasury securities and some corporate bonds.
"This proposal, which is supposed to promote financial stability, actually does the opposite," said Thomas Quaadman, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The Obama Administration doesn't want "stability."
They want your money in the stock market, to keep the Dow and Nasdaq and S&P indexes artificially high. The only thing holding their illusion of a "recovery" afloat is the bubble in equities. It's gotta stay pumped up until Obama leaves office (in order to cement his "legacy") regardless of the risk to individual savers like you and me.
Practically speaking, it means that before all is said and done, banks will be charging usurious rates of interest on even the smallest bank deposits, in a push to get every last "saver" to reallocate their wealth away from pieces of fiat paper into pieces of paper promises (held by the DTCC no less) to be paid by increasingly more cash-flow deficient companies.
The inevitable crash is going to be epic.
The next phase of Dear Leader's "fundamental transformation" of America is complete. With our economy in tatters, China is now the world's number 1 economic powerhouse.
We're no longer No. 1. Today we're No. 2. Yes, it's official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is no longer the leading economic power on the planet.
The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in "real" terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared to $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A.
As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese.
To put the numbers slightly differently, China now accounts for 16.5% of the global economy when measured in real purchasing power terms, compared to 16.3% for the U.S.
This latest economic earthquake follows the development last year when China surpassed the U.S. for the first time in terms of global trade.
These calculations are based on a well-established and widely used economic measure known as "purchasing power parity" (or PPP), which measures the actual output as opposed to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. So a Starbucks Venti Frappucino served in Beijing counts the same as a Venti Frappucino served in Minneapolis, regardless of what happens to be going on among foreign exchange traders.
PPP is the real way of comparing economies. It is one reported by the IMF and was, for example, the one used by McKinsey & Co. consultants back in the 1990s when they undertook a study of economic productivity on behalf of the British government.
Make no mistake. This is a geopolitical earthquake with a high reading on the Richter scale. Throughout history, political and military power have always depended on economic power. Britain was the workshop of the world before she ruled the waves. And it was Britain's relative economic decline that preceded the collapse of her power.
And it was a similar story with previous hegemonic powers such as France and Spain.
Collapsing the power of the United States is Obama's stated goal. He was indoctrinated in the anti-colonialist dialectic at his father's knee, and forged in radical Marxism by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Here you have the inevitable result of his presidency — a measurable, and probably irreversable, decline of American power and influence.
Our children will live in a world dominated by communist China. Think about
that. Think long and hard, and thank an Obama voter for making the future
bleaker for everyone.
The next time some Obamabot tries to tell you American corporations aren't paying their "fair share" in taxes, show her this chart.
See that bottom red line? The one that says "United States?"
Yeah, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, and pretty much all Democrats believe a corporate tax rate of 39.1% is not high enough.
Sane people might disagree.
Any day now the White House and Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) will attempt to raise taxes on business, while making the U.S. tax code even more complex. The Obama and Schumer plans to punish businesses for moving their legal domicile overseas will arrive even as a new international ranking shows that the U.S. tax burden on business is close to the worst in the industrialized world. Way to go, Washington.
Can you see why Burger King wants to pay taxes in Canada? They'll save 13% overnight!
The index takes into account more than 40 tax policy variables. And the inaugural ranking puts the U.S. at 32nd out of 34 industrialized countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
"With the developed world's highest corporate tax rate at over 39% including state levies, plus a rare demand that money earned overseas should be taxed as if it were earned domestically, the U.S. is almost in a class by itself. It ranks just behind Spain and Italy, of all economic humiliations. America did beat Portugal and France, which is currently run by an avowed socialist.
Well, to be fair, America is currently being run by an avowed socialist too.
And when I say "run," I mean Into The Ground. Barack Obama is
running America into the ground. He seems to be enjoying it, too.
What Recovery? While Obama golfs, the people who voted for him are struggling just to make ends meet.
Every day, Kim Ticehurst walks a financial tightrope.
A single mother in Montclair, Ticehurst lost her job in the construction industry in January. At 50, she has decades of experience in project management, planning, organization and design, but the scores of resumes she has submitted have been met with no response.
"It's a horrible feeling," she said last week. "You definitely confront times when you're like 'how do I get through this day?'"
She has pieced together employment, working part-time in childcare while she tries to get her new home-organization business off the ground. For the first time in months, she's feeling optimistic.
But she knows the littlest of things, from a toothache to a car accident, could turn her life upside-down.
A new study conducted by the United Way of Northern New Jersey shows an alarming number of New Jersey residents are in Ticehurst's position. Data compiled by the group show that 38 percent of New Jersey households are struggling to meet basic needs. These households are just scraping by, one lost job or medical emergency away from potential fiscal ruin.
The report, called ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), paints a stark picture of how widespread financial hardship like Ticehurst's is in New Jersey.
While 11 percent of state residents fall below the Federal Poverty Line, which stands at an annual income of $22,811 for a family of four, the report found that when adjusted for cost of living the same family needs nearly triple that — $61,200 — just to meet a basic survival budget.
In one of the wealthiest states in the country, 1.2 million households fall below this threshold. And while the state's economy has shown signs of recovery in the wake of the Great Recession, the number of households struggling by the United Way measure increased by about 24 percent from 2007 to 2012, the most recent data available.
Hmm, back in 2007, who was running for president and promising he'd help people like Kim Ticehurst? Yeah, too bad she (and everyone else in Montclair) voted for that Obama guy.
What? She expected him to draw on his decades of experience?
Welcome to Obama's New Normal. Where average Americans struggle just to get by while he and his rich Wall Street friends keep telling us it's all somebody else's fault.
ALICE households exist in every age bracket in New Jersey, but the largest segment of the group is those who are typically in their income earning prime. Households headed by those aged 25-64 represent 75 percent of those beneath the ALICE threshold.
The average budget needed to provide basic needs, both for the individual and the family household in New Jersey, increased by 19 percent from 2007 to 2012.
High paying jobs are scarce. Jobs paying less than $40,000 a year now comprise 53 percent of all jobs in New Jersey, and these jobs are projected to be the primary source of labor growth in the coming years.
Obamanomics — lower paying jobs, higher costs for life's necessities.
What's not to like about that?
"For people in poverty, their attempt to escape from poverty has been more difficult because of the large number of people with more education than them competing for available jobs," Van Horn said. "And in our own research here, we found that more than half of Americans who were able to get another job, their next job was either lower-paying or paid the same."
"So people are either staying where they were or they're downwardly mobile."
Trickle-up poverty. Because Obama so loved the poor that he made millions
more of them.
If Dear Leader really hates the wealthy as much as he says he does, why has he made them richer while keeping everybody else down and out?
Under President Obama, the richest 10 percent were the only income group of Americans to see their median incomes rise, according to a survey released this week by the Federal Reserve.
The Fed data covered the years 2010-2013, during which period Mr. Obama constantly campaigned against income inequality and won re-election by painting his Republican rival as a tool of Wall Street plutocrats.
"Data from the 2013 [Survey of Consumer Finances] confirm that the shares of income and wealth held by affluent families are at modern historically high levels," the report said in noting that the median income fell for every 10-percent grouping except the most affluent 10 percent.
When Obama says he's helping the middle class, it's a lie.
And when he talks about caring for the poor, that's a lie too.
But making fat cats get fatter? Yeah, he's real good at doing that. Everything he's done has accelerated "income inequality." Almost like he planned it that way.
This past weekend I had an Obamabot smirk at me, "he saved this country!"
To which I replied, "from what, prosperity?"
Riddle me this, Batman. If we only added 142,000 new jobs last month, how did Obama manage to fudge the unemployment rate down to 6.1%?
Can you say "labor force participation rate?"
Sure, I knew you could.
[Not] only did the headline data disappoint, the labor force participation rate dropped once again to 62.8% from 62.9%, matching the lowest since 1978, as a result of the people not in labor force rising once again, and hitting a new all time high record of 92,269,000, up 268,000 from the prior month. In fact, in August the number of people not in the labor force increased by nearly double the number of people who found jobs, which as we reported previously, was only 142K.
Putting it another way, since the start of the depression in December 2007, the number of people not in the labor force has increased by 13.0 million. The number of jobs added: 768,000.
Think about that for a minute.
Obama has now sent thirteen million Americans over the abyss, into employment oblivion. No job. No unemployment benefits. No hope.
When he promised "change you can believe in," I'm pretty sure that isn't what most of us had in mind.
So, tell me again why you guys voted for him?
The nation's fast food workers are out protesting again, agitating on behalf of the SEIU for a $15 an hour "living wage." It's the same old song, pay us more money for unskilled, easily automated work. Because Class Warfare! Or, something.
The thing is, they don't do themselves any favors when they send out guys like this:
Protester Prospero Sanchez, who was at the rally near Times Square, said the $11.50 per hour he earns making pizzas at a Domino's Pizza restaurant is not enough to support him, his wife and two kids. He started working at the same restaurant 14 years ago, when he made $5 an hour.
Dude, get a new job.
I mean, really, 14 years doing the same thing, and you expect what exactly, a medal? Why didn't you try to move up, maybe to assistant manager? Let me guess, because then you'd have to work harder, right?
He has asked his bosses for more money. "They said no," Sanchez, 32, said.
What did you offer them? That you'll keep making pizzas just like you do now?
And they said, "no?"
Wanna see my shocked face?
Listen up Chief, get your ass into night school. Stop complaining and do something to help yourself. Look up the word "ambition." Memorize the definition.
Then we'll see your shocked face, when McDowell's offers you more than $15 an hour. Because you've got skills to offer them.
Maurice: "Oh yeah, I started out mopping the floor just like you guys. Then I moved up to washing lettuces. Now, I'm working the fat fryer. Pretty soon I'll make assistant manager, and that's when the big bucks start rolling in."
America. It's the land of Opportunity. We open the door. But you have to walk
Obamabot shibboleths meet Reality. Reality wins.
This weekend, American workers will take part in a time-honored tradition, gathering around picnic tables and barbecue grills to talk shop.
A new Rutgers University report on the American workforce in the aftermath of the Great Recession gives them plenty to discuss.
American workers are "insecure, underpaid, highly stressed, and generally unhappy at work," researchers found.
The report, "Unhappy, Worried, and Pessimistic: Americans in the Aftermath of the Great Recession," details the results of a national survey conducted by the school's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Researchers at the university have been taking stock of public perception on the effects of the recession since it ended in 2009, and honed in on the American workforce ahead of Labor Day weekend.
"We tracked people through the recession and never found light at the end of the tunnel," said Cliff Zukin, a professor of public policy and political science at Rutgers and one of the authors of the report. "The image of the American worker, I think, stunned us."
It's only stunning if you're living in an Obamabot, MSNBC, New York Times bubble. Here in the Real World, the recession did not "end" in 2009, no matter what the White House and the Democrats want you to believe.
And it must be the prospect of more snow that led to the CBO "revising" its 2014 economic forecast downward. A lot.
CBO has lowered its projection of real growth of GDP in 2014 from 3.1 percent to 1.5 percent, reflecting the surprising economic weakness in the first half of the year.
Surprising, stunned, it's always unexpected when things don't go
the way Obama said they would. Because the force of his words is supposed
to move mountains, slow the rise of the oceans, and heal our
C'mon Rutgers, who you gonna believe? Obama? Or your lyin' eyes?
Gas prices are falling. I question the timing.
Gasoline prices in New Jersey have dropped this summer and as of today, three stations in Union and Middlesex counties were charging as low as $2.98 for a gallon of unleaded.
That marked the first time since February that a station in the state sold gas for less than $3 a gallon, highlighting what oil analysts say is a trend that should continue into Labor Day and beyond.
Yup, "beyond," to Election Day.
The $2.99 gas at two Delta stations in Rahway and one in Carteret "are more gimmicky now than anything else," Kloza said. "But in the next few weeks you're going to see more sub-$3 prices. I would not be surprised to see New Jersey average $3.10 by Election Day (Nov 4)", he said.
The illusion of an improving economy just might help Democrats keep the Senate.
So, go ahead, call me a cynic. But if they're willing to indict Rick Perry for doing his job, tell me, what won't Democrats do to maintain their stranglehold on power?
Are you going to tell me that George Norcross couldn't drop a dime and "suggest" that gas prices ease up because Jeff Bell is closing in on Cory Booker and people's all-too-reasonable fears of econut economic turmoil need to be toned down? Harry Reid's already given up on South Dakota, he can't afford to lose a deep blue state like New Jersey.
Nevermind that Booker's Sierra Club buddies are hell-bent on stopping a vital natural gas pipeline project. And that they're still tilting at bird-killing windmills, despite the guaranteed detriment to our view from the Jersey shore.
Listen up. If you think gas won't be back to $3.89 a gallon by November 10th, you aren't paying attention (or you're an Obamabot, but I repeat myself). The long-term outlook for cheap, dependable fossil fuels in this state is grim, no matter what our beloved bylined Democratic Party operatives at the Star-Ledger might try to tell you before Election Day.
Perhaps they've conveniently forgotten that gas was selling at far below $2 per gallon when the Great and Munificent Barack Obama took office. Fortunately, I'm here to remind them, and you.
Obamanomics. It's not the shiznit. So if you vote Democrat, you only
have yourself to blame.
Recovery Summer Episode VI, Revenge of the Part-Timers.
In the new landscape of the American labor market, jobs are easier to come by but hours remain in short supply.
New government data released Thursday showed the economy added 288,000 jobs in June — the fifth straight month gains have topped the critical benchmark of 200,000. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, down more than a percentage point over the past year.
But there's a gnawing fear among some economists that the improving data provides false comfort. The number of people in part-time jobs jumped by more than 1 million in June to 27 million, according to the government's data, making it one of the corners of the labor market that has been slowest to heal. That has led to worries that the workforce may be becoming permanently polarized, with part-timers stuck on one side and full-time workers on the other.
"What we're seeing is a growing trend of low-quality part-time jobs," said Carrie Gleason, director of the Fair Work Week Initiative, which is pushing for labor reforms. "It's creating this massive unproductive workforce that is unable to productively engage in their lives or in the economy."
The spike in part-time work since the recession has been largely involuntary. These workers may have had their hours cut or are unable to find full-time jobs, earning them the official designation of "part-time for economic reasons." In June, their ranks swelled by 275,000 to 7.5 million. In 2007, 4.4 million people fell into this category.
So the good news, if you're an Obamabot, is the economy added 288,000 new jobs last month. The Real News though is that 275,000 of those jobs are part-time.
Hope and change!
And then there are the drop-outs; folks who've given up on ever finding a job, even a "low-quality part-time" job.
The US unemployment rate dropped to 6.1% in June the lowest level since September 2008.
However the number of people not in the labor force also rose to a fresh record high of 92,120,000 up 111,000 since June.
In fact, there are more than 7 million fewer people in the workforce than when Obama took office. Add them back in to the mix and the unemployment rate tops out at over 12 percent.
All of this should come as no surprise, unless you're living in a bubble.
When you raise taxes dramatically and roll out tons of burdensome regulations, a contracting economy is only a surprise if you're an idiot. Or a member of this Administration and the press. But I repeat myself.
Sadly this Administration envisions no changes to its disruptive policies. Because they can't, or won't, admit they're wrong. So, as long as they keep shoving in the same inputs, we'll keep seeing the same abysmal outputs.
In other words, the beatings will continue until morale improves.
Pessimism, and poverty. It's the New Normal.
For the first time in a very long time, Americans aren't so sure their kids will have better lives than they do.
That's according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll that shows just one in three people believe "most children in this country will grow up to be better off" than their parents. (A whopping 63 percent said their kids will be worse off.) Not only are those numbers stunning but they are also a stunning reversal from CNN data at the end of the last century (1999 to be exact) -- when two thirds of Americans predicted that children would grow up to have it better than their parents.
Gee, I wonder what's happened between 1999 and now?
Oh, right, Hope and Change!
Barack Obama has put America onto the wrong track. He's derailed the America dream. His policies sow poverty and discord. And his legacy will leave our children worse off than us.
It's time to dust off this Robert Heinlein quote again.
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as "bad luck."
Mister we could use a man like Ronald Reagan again.
Janet Yellen's Magic Money Printing Machine has finally tipped the balance. The Fed's flood of cash keeps us chasing too few goods with too many dollars, and now the cat is out of the bag.
Inflation, it's the New Normal.
Higher food and gas costs pushed up U.S. consumer prices in April by the most in 10 months, evidence that inflation is ticking up from very low levels.
The U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.3 percent last month after a 0.2 percent gain in March, the Labor Department said on Thursday. In the past 12 months, prices have increased 2 percent, which is the largest gain since July and matching the Federal Reserve's inflation target.
Got that? They want inflation. They want you to pay more for your stuff. Especially food.
Food prices jumped 0.4 percent for the third straight month, driven by the largest increase in the cost of meat in 10 years. Gas prices rose 2.3 percent, the first increase in four months.
Yeah, about those meat prices, it's bad news as far as the eye can see.
Hardly surprising given the surge in beef and pork that we have been noting, but according to the latest inflation data from the BLS, meat prices spike by almost 3% in April - the most since November 2003 (this is also the 2nd biggest price spike in 34 years!) As we noted previously, this soaring food price inflation is not about to stop anytime soon...
Here's today's scary chart:
The government's been lying to you about inflation. It's worse than they say.
Way worse. But you're not supposed to believe your own eyes; you're supposed
to believe Barack Obama's smooth talk. Which, given his policies, is about to
become all you can afford to eat.
Obamanomics, it's the shiznit.
The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world's largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, according to the world's leading statistical agencies.
The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872.
With the IMF expecting China's economy to have grown 24 per cent between 2011 and 2014 while the US is expected to expand only 7.6 per cent, China is likely to overtake the US this year.
Maybe it's because in Obama's America, 1/5 of American families don't have a breadwinner.
How can anyone not see what is happening to us? America is in the midst of a long-term economic decline, but the mainstream media and most of our politicians seem to think that things are better than ever. They continue to try to convince us that "business as usual" is the right path to take.
Thanks Obama voters. You've succeeded in reducing our global stature, and put 47 million Americans on food stamps to boot.
Ronald Reagan defeated Soviet Communism.
Barack Obama has surrendered to Chinese communism.
I forget. Is that the Hope, or the Change?
Either way, it's an epidemic of Fail.
It goes to somebody else. Somebody who's living large on the dole. In fact, a whole lot of "somebodies."
A whopping 69 cents of every tax dollar gets sent right back out as wealth redistribution.
Major entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) gobbled up 49 percent, while more federal benefits took another 20 percent. These additional "income security" benefits include federal employee retirement and disability, unemployment benefits, and welfare programs such as food and housing assistance.
Not included yet? Obamacare subsidies. They won't be counted until next year, so get ready to bend over and grab your ankles.
But wait, it gets worse.
We're on track for all our tax money to go to Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid (including the Children's Health Insurance Program and Obamacare), and interest on the debt. Don't forget the debt. Your 2013 tax dollars covered only 80 cents of every dollar spent by the federal government. The other 20 cents were borrowed from younger generations.
You know what would be nice?
If at least one of the Obamabot grifters I'm supporting sent me a thank-you note for tax day (or as I like to call it, National Wealth Redistribution Day). Maybe the folks at Hallmark can come up with an appropriate card.
Related: An Ode to Tax Day.