Free money and guarantees incentivize speculation and mal-investment, so the money is squandered, leaving the immense debts behind to be serviced from now until Doomsday (December 21, 2021--the Mayan astronomer/sage was dyslexic.)
Chart Of The Day: Change In Q1 American Debt And GDP - Zero Hedge - Tyler Durden - April 27, 2012 - Presented without much commentary, because little is necessary: the only ratio that matters for the US economy, the change in US public debt ($359.1 billion) and US GDP ($142.4) in the first quarter, hit 2.52x and rising. It takes $2.52 in new debt to "buy" $1 of economic "growth"
Epic Fail Part 1 - The Burning Platform - Jim Quinn - April 23, 2012 - The first fact that can’t be ignored is how many Americans are actually unemployed today. Here is some truth you won’t get from a politician or media talking head:
- There are 243 million working age Americans.
- There are 142 million employed Americans.
- Only 101 million of the employed Americans are working more than 35 hours per week. This means that only 41.6% of all working age Americans have a full-time job.
- According to the government drones at the BLS, 88 million Americans have “chosen” to not be in the labor force – the highest level in U.S. history.
- The percentage of Americans in the workforce at 63.8% is the lowest since 1980 and down from a peak of 67.1% in 2000. The difference between these two percentages is 8 million Americans.
- The BLS reports there are only 12.7 million unemployed Americans in the country, down from 15.3 million in 2009.
- The BLS reports the unemployment rate has dropped from 10% in late 2009 to 8.3% today. Over this time frame the working age population grew by 5.7 million, while the number of employed Americans grew by 3.6 million. Only a government drone could interpret this data and report a dramatic decline in the unemployment rate.
Cooling Job Market Takes Toll on U.S. Confidence: Economy - Bloomberg - Timothy R. Homan and Shobhana Chandra - April 26, 2012 - More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week and consumer confidence declined by the most in a year, signaling that a cooling labor market may restrain household spending. Jobless claims fell to 388,000 from a revised 389,000 the prior week that was the highest since early January, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to minus 35.8 from minus 31.4 the previous week. “There has been some slowdown in the labor market,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, a U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York, who correctly projected the level of jobless claims. “That makes consumers feel less confident, and makes them more cautious about their spending. We could see some weakness in April payrolls.”
US Economy Grows at Tepid 2.2% Pace; Misses Estimates - Reuters through CNBC - April 27, 2012 - U.S. economic growth cooled in the first quarter as businesses cut back on investment and restocked shelves at a moderate pace, but stronger demand for automobiles softened the blow.... Gross domestic product [cnbc explains] expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Friday in its advance estimate, moderating from the fourth quarter's 3 percent rate. While that was below economists' expectations for a 2.5 percent pace, a surge in consumer spending took some of the sting from the report. However, growth was still stronger than analysts' predictions early in the quarter for an expansion below 1.5 percent.
Insight: Falling home prices drag new buyers under water - Reuters - Tim Reid - April 26, 2012 - More than 1 million Americans who have taken out mortgages in the past two years now owe more on their loans than their homes are worth, and Federal Housing Administration loans that require only a tiny down payment are partly to blame. That figure, provided to Reuters by tracking firm CoreLogic, represents about one out of 10 home loans made during that period. It is a sobering indication the U.S. housing market remains deeply troubled, with home values still falling in many parts of the country, and raises the question of whether low-down payment loans backed by the FHA are putting another generation of buyers at risk. As of December 2011, the latest figures available, 31 percent of the U.S. home loans that were in negative equity - in which the outstanding loan balance exceeds the value of the home - were FHA-insured mortgages, according to CoreLogic. Many borrowers, particularly since late 2010, thought they were buying at the bottom of a housing market that had already suffered steep declines, but have been caught out by a continued fall in prices in wide swaths of America. Even for loans taken out in December - less than four months ago and the last month for which data is available - nearly 44,000 borrowers, or about 7.5 percent of the total, now find themselves under water. "The overwhelming majority of the U.S. is still seeing home prices decline," said CoreLogic senior economist Sam Khater. "Many borrowers continue to be quickly wiped out."....
U.S. Firms Add Jobs, but Mostly Overseas - Wall Street Journal - Scott Thurm - April 27, 2012 - Thirty-five big U.S.-based multinational companies added jobs much faster than other U.S. employers in the past two years, but nearly three-fourths of those jobs were overseas, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Those companies, which include Wal-Mart Stores Inc., International Paper Co., Honeywell International Inc. and United Parcel Service Inc., boosted their employment at home by 3.1%, or 113,000 jobs, between 2009 and 2011, the same rate of increase as the nation's other employers. But they also added more than 333,000 jobs in their far-flung—and faster-growing— foreign operations. (Subscriber Article)
The Family Farm Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America - The Economic Collapse Blog - An entire way of life is rapidly dying right in front of our eyes. The family farm is being systematically wiped out of existence in America, and big agribusiness and the federal government both have blood all over their hands. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms in the United States has fallen from about 6.8 million in 1935 to only about 2 million today. That doesn't mean that there is less farming going on. U.S. farms are producing more than ever. But what it does mean is that farming is increasingly becoming dominated by the big boys. The rules of the game have been tilted in favor of big agribusiness so dramatically that most small farmers find that they simply cannot compete anymore. Back in 1900, about 39 percent of the U.S. population worked on farms. At this point, only about 2 percent of all Americans now live on farms. Big agribusiness, the food processing conglomerates, and big seed companies such as Monsanto completely dominate the industry. Unless something dramatic is done, the family farm is going to continue to be wiped out of existence. Unfortunately, it does not look like things are going to turn around any time soon. The way that the farming industry is structured today, it is simply not economically feasible to operate a small family farm. According to Farm Aid, every week approximately 330 farmers leave their land for good. Many old timers are trying to hang on for as long as they can. A very large percentage of family farmers are in their fifties, sixties or seventies at this point. Today, only about 6 percent of all farmers are under the age of 35.
Most young people these days are not too eager to choose farming as a career. A lot of young adults that grew up on family farms have decided that investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a business that requires you to work 12 hours or more per day most of the year for very meager wages is simply not worth it. In recent years, many family farmers have been forced to find second jobs in order to support their families. Many farm families are constantly on the verge of financial ruin. It is a really tough life for many of them. Sadly, less than 25 percent of all farms in America bring in gross revenues in excess of $50,000. The following comes from the EPA website....
‘Prison complex one of the fastest growing industries in US’ - PressTV - April 26, 2012 - “The prison industrial complex is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States,” according to Randy Short, a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Baltimore, who spoke to Press TV on Thursday. Describing the exploitation of inmates in the U.S., Short said, “American prisons now have industries that run from high tech to furniture, so there’s a large amount of products being made for even fortune 500 companies in particular, I would mention Microsoft and Mr. Bill Gates who everyone thinks is such a wonderful humanitarian.” “If you look at who’s being arrested and who’s being put in prison for the longest terms, this has always been the way the United States has made it,” Short said. The Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest private prison company, has offered to buy nearly all the nation’s state prisons. “To ensure their profitability, the corporation insists that it be guaranteed that the prisons be kept at least 90 percent full.”