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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- September 9, 2012

Spinning Bad Financial News Into Good ~ Paul Craig Roberts - August 8, 2012 -  Friday’s payroll jobs report says that 96,000 new jobs were created in August and that the unemployment rate (U.3) fell from 8.3% to 8.1%. As 96,000 new jobs are not enough to keep up with population growth, the decline in the U.3 unemployment rate was caused by 368,000 discouraged job seekers giving up on finding employment and dropping out of the work force as measured by U.3. Discouraged workers are not included in the U.3 measure of unemployment, which makes the measure useless. The only purpose of U.3 is to keep bad news out of the news. the U.3 unemployment rate only measures those who have not been discouraged by the inability to find a job and are still actively seeking employment.                       The government produces another unemployment measure, U.6, which includes people who have been discouraged by the inability to find a job and have been out of the work force for less than a year. This measure of unemployment is 14.7%, a number that would get attention if reported.                      When the long-term (more than one year) discouraged workers are included, the US unemployment rate is about 22%. In other words, the real US rate of unemployment is almost three times higher than the reported--headline rate--of 8.1%.                       What is the purpose of reporting an unemployment rate that is about one-third the real unemployment rate? The only answer is deception through Happy News.                   Let’s have a look at those 96,000 jobs. What kind of high-tech, high-income super jobs is “the world’s only superpower, the indispensable nation, the world’s greatest economy and capitalist heaven” creating? The answer is lowly paid third world jobs, which is why there is not and cannot be an economic recovery. All the good jobs have been moved offshore in order to maximize the incomes of the rich.                         According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 28,300 of the 96,000 jobs or 29% are waitresses and bartenders.                      Health care and social services, primarily ambulatory health care services and home health care services, provided 21,700 jobs or 22.6% of the jobs.                  So, 52% of the new jobs created by the American superpower are lowly paid waitresses, bartenders, practical nurses, and hospital orderlies.                    Highly paid manufacturing jobs declined by 15,000. The incomes lost by these jobs most likely exceed the income gains from the waitresses, bartenders, and hospital orderlies jobs.                  Where did the other 46,000 jobs come from?

Are you better off? Just 96,000 jobs added in August as 368,000 people LEAVE the workforce in bleak employment report dealing blow to Obama re-election hopes
- The Mail Online - Tony Harnden - September 7, 2012
Just 96,000 American jobs were added in August in a bleak monthly jobs report as 368,000 left the workforce, bringing labour market participation down to its lowest level for 31 years and dealing a blow to President Barack Obama’s re-election chances.                      The national unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 per cent, down from 8.2 per cent, but this was only because so many people gave up looking for work. If the participation rate had not dropped so precipitously, unemployment would have risen to 8.4 per cent.                  Factory employment fell by the most in two years and temporary-help companies eliminated positions for the first time in five months. The 69.9 per cent labor force participation rate for men is at lowest level recorded since the US government began tracking it in 1948.                    According to James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute, the unemployment rate would be 11.2 per cent if the labour force participation rate had remained what it was when Obama took office in January 2009. The U.S. Labour Department also said that 41,000 fewer jobs were created in June and July than previously reported.

Drop in jobless rate a bad sign for economy - Reuters - Jason Lange - September 7, 2012 - Following are some key details from the report:                    * The unemployment rate, which is derived from a separate survey of households, fell because the workforce shrank by 368,000 during the month. That is worrisome because some of the outflow was likely caused by people giving up on their job hunts. To be in the workforce, a worker must be either employed or seeking work. The participation rate, a measure of the amount of people employed compared to the size of the workforce, fell to 63.5 percent in August - the lowest since September 1981 - from 63.7 percent a month earlier.                * A big drag on hiring came from the manufacturing sector, where payrolls dropped by 15,000. Long a major support for the recovery from recession, factories now appear to be sagging as the global economy cools.                * Temporary hiring also held back the gain in payrolls, falling by 4,900 last month. Companies often hire temps to test the waters before adding people directly to their payrolls. The water appeared to be a bit frigid in August.                    * In a more positive signal, a gauge of the total work effort rose last month. The government's index for aggregate weekly hours rose 0.1 percent to 96.0. The average workweek was steady at 34.4 hours. Hourly earnings were about flat.

Seven Ways the Markets are manipulated
- The International Forecaster - James Corbett - September 1, 2012: Corbett counts off seven ways the markets are manipulated, from bots, plunge protection, insiders, shorting, and many more of the dirty tricks your money encounters one way or another when you invest. - #1 – High-frequency trading - #2 – The Plunge Protection Team - #3 – Naked Shorting - #4 – Selective Enforcement - #5 – Insider Trading - #6 – Rate rigging - #7 – Back door trading...

Fed Unintended Consequence #267435: Homeowners Front-Running QE By Not Refinancing
- Submitted by Tyler Durden - September 6, 2012 - For the fifth week in a row, MBA mortgage applications fell - dragged lower by a notably consistent drop in the refinance index - which dropped 3% this week alone and represents almost 80% of the total number of loans. Surely if rates are rising - as they have in general in the last few weeks - we would expect the 'rational homeowner of olde' to rush to his friendly local mortgage broker and refinance immediately for fear of missing the turn and the 'opportunity of a lifetime' to lock-in low rates. Unfortunately, just as retail equity investors appear to the be the smartest players in the room as they sell into strength, so the homeowner has now become conditioned by the Fed's central-planning and repression to expect rates to remain low - and QE3 to be implemented later in the year - and therefore will wait for the 'expected' lower rates rather than accept a periodically rising rate. Yet another unintended consequence that hints at the fact that should we see 'real' recovery (we know, but go with the thought experiment) then higher rates will act as a drag on a burgeoning mini-stimulus from refinancing and normalize us back to lower growth.

Are You Better Off? 40 Statistics That Will Absolutely Shock You - The Economic Collapse Blog - Are you better off today than you were four years ago? This is a question that comes up nearly every election. This year the Romney campaign has even created a Twitter hashtag for it: #AreYouBetterOff. The Democrats are making lots of speeches claiming that we are better off, and the Republicans are making lots of speeches claiming that we are not. So are most Americans actually better off than they were four years ago? Of course not. One recent poll found that only 20 percent of Americans believe that they are better off financially than they were four years ago. But the same thing was true four years ago as well. Our economy has been in decline and the middle class has been shrinking for a very long time. The Democrats want to put all of the blame on the Republicans for this, and the Republicans want to put all of the blame on the Democrats for this. A recent CNN headline defiantly declared the following: "Decline of middle class not Obama's fault", and this is the kind of thing we are going to hear day after day until the election in November. But obviously something has gone fundamentally wrong with our economy. So who should we blame?
                       Sadly, you hear very little on the mainstream news networks or the talk radio shows about the institution that has the most power over our economy. The Federal Reserve has far more power over our financial system than anyone else does, but the media and both political parties tell us that the Federal Reserve is "above politics" and that their "independence" must never be questioned.
              Unfortunately, most Americans have gone along with that.             
But the truth is that the debt-based financial system that the Federal Reserve is at the core of is absolutely central to our economic problems. If you do not understand this, please see this article: "10 Things That Every American Should Know About The Federal Reserve".             The Federal Reserve has done more to mess up our economy than anyone else has.            So shouldn't they be held accountable?             That is a very good question.                Have you ever wondered why financial markets move so dramatically whenever Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gives a speech?                   The same thing does not happen when Barack Obama gives a speech.             That is because the financial markets know who holds the real power in our financial system.          But during this election season the American people are told to put all of their attention on the "red team" and the "blue team". We are told that the two major political parties are philosophical opposites and that they want to take the United States is two completely different directions.                     The "true believers" on the blue team are completely and totally convinced that Barack Obama will be able to rescue the economy and save America.                  The "true believers" on the red team are completely and totally convinced that Mitt Romney will be able to rescue the economy and save America.                    Once upon a time I was one of those political activists. I was fully convinced that America could be turned around if we could just get enough Republicans into office.                     But then I noticed that nothing really seemed to change no matter who was in power. I became disillusioned as I realized that Republicans were doing things pretty much the exact same way that Democrats were doing them when they got into power.                    Yes, there are some minor differences between the two parties on taxes and regulations.If we elect one guy over the other our economy might decline at a slightly different pace. But in the end both political parties are taking us to the exact same place. Down the toilet. I wish that wasn't true.                      But we need to be honest with ourselves.... -Both parties fully support the Federal Reserve.    -Both parties supported the nomination of Ben Bernanke to a second term as the head of the Federal Reserve.        -Both parties endlessly push the job-killing "free trade" agenda of the global elite.         -Both parties see nothing wrong with running absolutely enormous trade deficits with the rest of the world.   -Both parties supported TARP.    -Both parties supported the "economic stimulus" packages.   -Both parties supported the auto industry bailouts.    -Both parties have run up massive amounts of federal debt when in power.   -Both parties have greatly expanded the size of the federal government when in power.    -Both parties are full of control freaks and both parties have added more layers of ridiculous regulations to our already overburdened society when in power.     -Neither party supports getting rid of the income tax or the IRS.    -Neither party has any intention of doing anything to prevent the coming derivatives crisis that could bring down the entire global financial system.   -Both parties are absolutely showered with cash from the big Wall Street banks.         -Both parties think that the TSA is doing a great job.         -Both parties supported the NDAA and the renewal of the Patriot Act.
      -Both parties have greatly expanded the unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens by government agencies.     -Both parties are extremely soft on illegal immigration.     -Both parties have treated military veterans horribly.       -Both parties are absolutely packed with corrupt politicians that are living the high life at your expense.     -Neither party plans to balance the federal budget in 2013 if their candidate wins the election.     -Neither party has a plan that will fix our deeply broken health care system.       -Neither party has any plans to shut down the Federal Reserve. In fact, both parties see absolutely nothing wrong with our current system.                               Of course this list could go on indefinitely, but hopefully you get the point.   But I can understand those that are deeply frustrated with Barack Obama and that desperately want to avoid another four years of his policies.     I also believe that Barack Obama has been the worst president in U.S. history and that he and his entire cabinet should immediately resign in disgrace.  However, the Republican party foolishly chose to nominate the Republican candidate that was most like Barack Obama to run against him.  That was an enormous mistake.    No matter what the talk radio shows are telling you, the truth is that this country will continue on pretty much the same path no matter who wins the election.   I know that statement is going to make a lot of people angry. But it is the sad reality of what we are facing.                      Even if you focus on just the economy, the truth is that Mitt Romney's "five point plan" is almost exactly the same thing that Barack Obama has been saying.      Many Americans believe that since Mitt Romney made lots of money on Wall Street conducting leveraged buyouts of vulnerable corporations that he understands how to fix our economy.      Sadly, that is not the truth.     I have listened to many Romney speeches about the economy and I keep waiting for some pearls of wisdom, but I have found that he is just as clueless about the economy as our other recent presidents have been.      Look, I know that there are a lot of people out there that have good hearts that want to have someone that they can believe in.     They want to believe that things can get better.     They want to have hope.     And I don't blame them for that.    I just think that it is time to pull our heads out of the sand and realize that things are not going to be getting any better.       A political savior on a white horse is not going to come riding in to save the day.      So by this point in the article a whole lot of Democrats and a whole lot of Republicans are very upset with me.  But I am not against you. There is way too much hate in our society today. Even if we disagree with someone else we can still love them.       I just think that it is very important that we understand that there is not going to be a solution to our problems on the national level and that our economy is headed for collapse no matter who gets elected.                               The total amount of debt in the United States has risen from less than 2 trillion dollars to nearly 55 trillion dollars over the past 40 years, and there is nothing that Barack Obama or Mitt Romney can do to prevent the "correction" that is coming.  So are Americans better off than they were four years ago?      Of course not.       But things will soon get a whole lot worse no matter how the election turns out.       The following are 40 statistics that will absolutely shock you....

Nearly 17 million Americans repeatedly short of food: report - Reuters - Charles Abbott & Philip Barbara - September 5, 2012 - he number of poor Americans who repeatedly ran short of food shot up by 800,000 in 2011 to nearly 17 million compared with 2010, the U.S. government said on Wednesday.        The Department of Agriculture said in a report that about 5.5 percent of Americans, or nearly 17 million, suffered "very low food security" last year, meaning they had to skip meals or not eat for a day because of a lack of money to buy food. That is a rise of 800,000 over the prior year, it said.        The food-security report was released one day after the government said that a record 46.7 million Americans were enrolled for food stamps in June, up by 173,000 in May.          High unemployment and slow growth since the deep 2008-2009 recession has driven enrollment in food stamps, the major U.S. anti-hunger program, to record levels.

47 Million Americans on Food Stamps
Food stamps is chump change. The 14 trillion dollars that went to the Banksters and Wall Street? Now that's news. And more welfare to the Banksters is coming soon. Called Q.E. 3. It's not the unemployed. Who are the problem. It's the BANKS!  about 314,316,326 souls in America, 83,320,200 families, and 46.7 million are on food stamps, Over half American families rely on food from the govt. WOW. What is even more sick is 67,767,865 are retires or on Social Security. and 19,504,437 work for the government or state. US unfunded liabilities are 120,478,377,000,000 dollars grows 1 million every 10 seconds and liabilities per tax payer = 1,054,184 dollars. And Obama just gave Israel 70 Billion 2 weeks ago. Can you say COLLAPSE?

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