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Minority and youth unemployment is Essex County is higher than both the New Jersey and national averages. So naturally the brain trust on our Freeholder Board has decided the cure for that problem is to mandate a $15 per hour minimum wage.
Local government officials are getting in on the statewide debate over pay rates. The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders last week became the first freeholder board in the state to pass a resolution urging state officials to bump New Jersey's minimum wage up to $15 an hour, county officials have confirmed.
The board voted unanimously on Sept. 30 to pass the resolution, which calls on state legislators and the governor to support legislation that would up the minimum wage from its current $8.38 an hour.
"Many people (work) hard every day and still cannot afford the basic necessities in life such as food, housing, transportation, child care," Freeholder President Britnee N. Timberlake said in a statement about the vote.
"How is it that the cost of everything seems to be increasing...but when the topic of raising the minimum wage to a living wage is discussed, there are people who do not agree?"
The stupid, it burns.
Hey Britnee, did anyone in Community Organizer School ever tell you that wages are a huge contributor to "the cost of everything?" Seeing as how you keep approving higher wages for the unionistas in county government, and then jacking up my taxes to pay for those raises, you might have, at least once, put 2 and 2 together. I mean, that is if you ever bothered to try thinking instead of pandering.
Now pay attention, and meet the future:
Because all the platitudes in the world aren't going to make it worth any company's while to pay $15 per hour to an unskilled entry-level worker. And without the benefit of that first job, usually fresh out of high school, there's zero chance your constituents will gain the skills needed to move up and get themselves a job that pays a "living wage."
Technology marches on Britnee. And it's uninformed do-gooders like you who accelerate the process.
"It would be comforting to believe that the government can simply decree higher pay for low-wage workers, without having to worry about unfortunate repercussions, but the preponderance of evidence indicates that labor is not exempt from the basic economic principle that artificially high prices cause surpluses. In the case of the surplus of human beings, that can be a special tragedy when they are already from low-income, unskilled or minority backgrounds and urgently need to get on the job ladder, if they are ever to move up the ladder by acquiring experience and skills."
Then stop tilting at windmills and do something that will actually help produce more good jobs. Encourage new business creation by removing roadblocks to success. Cut taxes. Eliminate regulations. Give employers a reason to come into Essex County instead of incentives to beat feet for less oppressive climes.
Of course that'll require hard work on your part, and guts, which is something
you and your Freeholder friends seem to have in short supply. So I won't hold
Guess what? We just had another "recovery summer" that wasn't. I think that makes 7 in a row now…
The U.S. added 142,000 new jobs in September, a disappointing figure the Federal Reserve will be closely scrutinizing as it mulls the first rate hike in nearly a decade.
The headline unemployment rate held steady 5.1%. Economists had forecast 203,000 new jobs and that the unemployment rate would remain at 5.1%.
So their forecasts were off by 30%, but somehow, magically the unemployment rate remains unchanged?
How's that work?
A record 94,610,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month — an increase of 579,000 from August — and the labor force participation rate reached its lowest point in 38 years, with 62.4 percent of the U.S. population either holding a job or actively seeking one.
…In September, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation's civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 251,325,000. Of those, 156,715,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.
The 156,715,000 who participated in the labor force equaled only 62.4 percent of the 251,325,000 civilian noninstitutional population. The last time the labor force participation was as low as 62.4 percent was in October 1977.
Notice the sharp downtrend over the last 7 years:
And, in case you were hoping that things might turn around any day now, sorry, but Obama just enacted The Most Expensive Environmental Regulation In The History Of The Universe.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday tightened the federal ozone standard, dismissing the concerns of powerful business groups and setting off a regulatory and legal fight that will last for the remainder of President Obama's time in office.
The agency's updated ozone regulations lower the standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 parts per billion.
Business groups, which had pushing the administration to keep the standard at its current 75 ppb level, say the regulations will be the most expensive in U.S. history, siphoning as much as $3.4 trillion out of the economy over the next two decades.
"Today, the Obama administration finalized a rule that is overly burdensome, costly and misguided," National Association of Manufacturers CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement. "For months, the administration threatened to impose on manufacturers an even harsher rule, with even more devastating consequences. After an unprecedented level of outreach by manufacturers and other stakeholders, the worst-case scenario was avoided. However, make no mistake: The new ozone standard will inflict pain on companies that build things in America — and destroy job opportunities for American workers. Now it's time for Congress to step up and take a stand for working families."
The worst part? Obama knows it's a job-killer, and he doesn't care.
Lawmakers of both parties object to the change, and even President Obama has conceded that the ozone rules could bring economic consequences.
He's sacrificing your job, and your family's future, on the altar of Globull Warming.
I forget, is that the "hope," or the "change?"
With Obamunism, it's Expect The Unexpected!
U.S. private employers hired 185,000 workers in July, which was the smallest increase since April and reduced expectations of a strong jobs reading in the government's payrolls report due Friday, according to a payrolls processor on Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 215,000 private jobs in July.
June private payroll gains in June were revised down to 229,000 from an originally reported 237,000 increase, which was the biggest rise since December.
So they lied to us again? The June jobs report was too good to be true, and in fact it wasn't true at all.
Cue my shocked face.
Then we see that their July estimates were also too rosy by far. And going by these, ahem, experts' track record, come September that 185,000 figure will almost certainly be "unexpectedly" revised downward as well.
The Obama "recovery" is one big Potemkin Village.
But then, you already knew that.
Gee, I wonder why wages are stagnant 7 years after The Great and Powerful Obama took charge of our economy?
U.S. wages and benefits grew in the spring at the slowest pace in 33 years, stark evidence that stronger hiring isn't lifting paychecks much for most Americans. The slowdown also likely reflects a sharp drop-off in bonus and incentive pay for some workers.
The employment cost index rose just 0.2 percent in the April-June quarter after a 0.7 increase in the first quarter, the Labor Department said Friday. The index tracks wages, salaries and benefits. Wages and salaries alone also rose just 0.2 percent.
Both measures recorded the smallest quarterly gains since the second quarter of 1982.
Salaries and benefits for private sector workers were unchanged, the weakest showing since the government began tracking the data in 1980.
Pay no attention to the community organizer behind the curtain.
Because really, after businesses are done paying all his extra taxes, and shelling out for Obamacare, and complying with thousands of onerous new regulations, who's got any money left for frivolous stuff like salaries?
But hey, you can always line up for more government cheese.
Remember right before 2012 election when the government swore the economy was recovering nicely?
And now that it doesn't matter, they can deign to tell us the truth.
So Obama's Commerce Department just quietly "revised" their GDP estimates for the last 3 years, downward.
The U.S. economy grew more slowly over the past three years than the government had previously estimated, held back by more frugal consumers and steeper spending cuts by state and local governments.
The economy expanded at just a 2 percent annual rate from 2012 through 2014, down from a previous estimate of 2.3 percent, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Nearly all the weaker-than-expected growth occurred in 2013, when the government now says the economy expanded just 1.5 percent, much less than its previous 2.2 percent estimate.
Well sure. 2013 was when the reality of facing 8 years of Obamunism really set in.
And with this latest "oops," Obama now ranks dead last among all US presidents since 1932. That's a new level of #fail over 80 years in the making.
Over the first five years of Obama's presidency, the U.S. economy grew more slowly than during any five-year period since just after the end of World War II, averaging less than 1.3 percent per year. If we leave out the sharp recession of 1945-46 following World War II, Obama looks even worse, ranking dead last among all presidents since 1932. No other president since the Great Depression has presided over such a steadily poor rate of economic growth during his first five years in office. This slow growth should not be a surprise in light of the policies this administration has pursued.
Ayup. Obamanomics sucks.
The numbers don't lie.
But Obama's administration does, or else they would have told us when it actually mattered.
Trickle-up poverty, it's the only thing Obama's good at, uh, creating. He'll
turn us all into beggars 'cause they're easier to please.
Like everything else he's ever said, "hope and change" was a lie too.
Welcome to Obama's era of despair and misery.
About 1.7 million more children live in low-income working families today than during the Great Recession, according to the newly released 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie. E. Casey Foundation. In 2013, one in four children, 18.7 million, lived in a low-income working family in the United States. Nearly a third of children are living in families where no parent has full-time employment. And even when parents are working full time, wages and benefits are often not sufficient to adequately support a family.
"Although we are several years past the end of the recession, millions of families still have not benefited from the economic recovery," said Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Casey Foundation. "While we've seen an increase in employment in recent years, many of these jobs are low-wage and cannot support even basic family expenses. Far too many families are still struggling to provide for the day-to-day needs of their children, notably for the 16 million kids who are living in poverty. We can and must do better: we can make policy choices to lift more families into economic stability."
Barack Obama's economic policies have pushed more kids into poverty.
Barack Obama's economic policies have actually reduced wages.
Barack Obama's economic policies have destroyed millions of good jobs.
Barack Obama's economic policies have turned us into a nation of part-time workers, scrounging just to make ends meet.
Barack Obama's economic policies are an unmitigated failure, especially for his core constituency.
Race is one of the strongest factors influencing a child's economic stability. Data show the economic recovery of the past several years has bypassed many children of color. Rates of unemployment at the close of 2014 were in single digits for all races except African Americans. African Americans were also the only group for whom unemployment remains higher than before the recession.
If only they had voted for a president who actually cared about their plight.
Or as Instapundit Glenn Reynolds likes to jibe, they told me that if I voted for Mitt Romney black people in this country would end up worse off, and they were right!
There's an opportunity for the GOP here. Ronald Reagan famously said "the best social program is a job." And I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about minimum wage, part-time jobs. America needs good jobs, and the only way to get them is to grow the economy. Progressive policies don't do that. Electing Hillary Clinton as president won't do that.
To grow our economy we need to get government out of the way. It's a simple message for the GOP to adopt. For far too long people have put their faith in government, and government has always let them down. So the solution is definitely not the Democrats' perpetual mantra of more government.
Unless we reverse course, America is headed for the same fate as Greece. It really is as simple, and as scary, as that. The choice is ours. All we have to do is choose wisely.
UPDATE 22 Jul 2015 14:27:
Adding insult to injury: Only fifty percent of black men born 25 years ago have jobs.
Oh, right, you thought Obama was trying to help the economy. Sorry to burst your bubble. Obama is doing everything possible to ensure Hillary gets elected president.
Just read between the lines.
And no, the population hasn't fallen to 1977 levels. Far from it.
So were did all those job-seekers go?
Into the arms of Big Government. They went on the dole and joined the Democratic Party. Because, as the saying goes, it's easier than getting a job.
All is proceeding according to George Soros' diabolical plan.
And no one is heeding the lesson of Greece. Least of all, Puerto Rico. Or, for that matter Chicago. Democrats nationwide continue on their tax-and-spend course, not caring that our spiraling national debt is unsustainable. Throw in the coming public pension tsunami, and oh, did you just lose your lunch?
Sorry about that. But the news, it is not rosy. Not today. And not tomorrow.
Climate alarmists say
the world is running out of water. I'd be worried, except we're going to
run out of Other People's Money first. And then the fun really starts.
Underemployment, it's the dirty little secret behind those shrinking unemployment statistics touted by the Obamabots. Sure people are finding work, but they're not finding full-time work.
Roughly a quarter of the more than 26 million people working part-time in the United States want a full-time job but can't find one, a reality that has left those workers struggling to pay their bills, according to a new study.
The Rutgers University survey called a "A Tale of Two Workforces: The Benefits and Burdens of Working Part Time" found that nearly a third of workers stuck with part-time jobs described their financial condition as poor. Less than 10 percent of people who choose to work part-time put themselves in that category, according to the survey.
Carl Van Horn, a co-author of the study and the director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, said the large pool of workers who are stuck working part-time because they cannot find a full-time job is a signal of weakness in the economy.
"There's two million more people in the United States than before the recession that are in that category even though the unemployment rate is down," he said.
Those workers, which the report calls "involuntary workers," fare worse financially than their "voluntary" counterparts who prefer to work part-time.
The survey found 63 percent of people working part-time for economic reasons faced a financial hardship related to their job situation in the past two years that required many to borrow from family or friends, rack up credit card debt or sell off possessions to make ends meet. Only 29 percent of voluntary workers said they faced a financial hardship due to their part-time work.
Welcome to Obamaville, population: you.
It's not really a recovery if people aren't able to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. And it's not like wages are growing either, because they're not. How's that for a one-two punch when you're already down on your luck?
Yeah, I know, it's still Bush's fault and I'm a racist.
Just don't blame me when things get even worse under Hillary.
It's been seven years, and counting. And we're still waiting for that "recovery" the Obamabots assured us was already here. Because outside of their media sycophant propaganda bubble, the economy still stucks.
The U.S. economy went into reverse in the first three months of this year as a severe winter and a widening trade deficit took a harsher toll than initially estimated.
The overall economy as measured by the gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the January-March period, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
The revised figure, even weaker than the government's initial estimate of a 0.2 percent growth rate, reflects a bigger trade gap and slower consumer spending. It marked the first decline since a 2.1 percent contraction in the first three months of 2014, a slump that was also blamed on winter weather.
Always with the excuses; these guys never take responsibility for anything they screw up. Nope, it couldn't possibly be their policies which keep failing. After all, they're smart, they went to Harvard! And it's all Global Warming's fault. Or something.
Economists expect a rebound in the current quarter to growth of around 2 percent and expect the economy to strengthen later this year.
How many times can their expectations be proven wrong before people stop believing what they say? Oh, right, these are Democrats. Ideology trumps reality every time in their puny little minds. So, they'll happily tell us the country needs to elect Hillary, so she can really undo all the bad stuff that Bush cowboy did. Obama? He tried man, but those evil Rethuglicans thwarted his enlightened executive orders at every turn. MSNBC said so, and they're never wrong about anything.
Wow, I gotta spend less time reading liberal blogs. I'm getting too good
at emulating their bullshit. But the fact that people believe that nonsense
really scares the daylights out of me.
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.