Google Groups
Join To Get Blog Update Notices
Visit the Hickory Hound Group

Monday, January 6, 2014

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- January 5, 2014

The Case of the Missing Recovery - Paul Craig Roberts - January 3, 2014 - Have you seen the economic recovery? I haven’t either. But it is bound to be around here somewhere, because the National Bureau of Economic Research spotted it in June 2009, four and one-half years ago.                It is a shy and reclusive recovery, like the “New Economy” and all those promised new economy jobs. I haven’t seen them either, but we know they are here, somewhere, because the economists said so.                    Congress must have seen all those jobs before they went home for Christmas, because our representatives let extended unemployment benefits expire for 1.3 million unemployed Americans, who have not yet met up with those new economy jobs, or even with an old economy job for that matter.                     By letting extended unemployment benefits expire, Congress figures that they saved 1.3 million Americans from becoming lifelong bums of the nanny state and living off the public purse. After all, who do those unemployed Americans think they are? A bank too big to fail? The military-security complex? Israel?                       What the unemployed need to do is to form a lobby organization and make campaign contributions.              Just as economists don’t recognize facts that are inconsistent with corporate grants, career ambitions, and being on the speaking circuit, our representatives don’t recognize facts inconsistent with campaign contributions....

Tipped workers often face different minimum wages - USA Today - Brian Tumulty - December 30, 2013 - ... "It obviously only works for a certain type of lifestyle — if you don't have kids or a mortgage,'' said Leidy, 35, a Cornell graduate who is single. "We have to pay for gas and insurance before we even start work.''                          Advocates for low-wage workers say minimum-wage laws shortchange employees such as Leidy.                        The federal minimum wage for tipped workers hasn't increased since 1991.                   Tipped workers — who wait on tables in restaurants, serve guests at hotels, cut hair in salons and park cars at garages — also have been overlooked at the state level.                    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn't acted on a recommendation the state Legislature made in the spring to convene a minimum wage board to hold hearings on tipped wages, according to Mark Dunlea, executive director of the Hunger Action Network of New York State.
"They are just stalling on it, and we're not happy,'' Dunlea said.                         New York sets different hourly minimums for various types of tipped workers, including $4.90 an hour for workers at resort hotels, $5 for food service workers and $5.65 for service employees.                         "The idea then is you are supposed to make tips on top of that to make the minimum wage that everyone else has,'' said Joann Lum with the National Mobilization Against Sweatshops based in Manhattan. "But as every bicycle delivery worker will tell you, you never know how much you are going to make in tips. On top of that, there are some restaurant owners who will take a portion of the tips, which is illegal, and they are left with even less."

Gov SWAT Teams Target “Rugged Individuals” Who Grow Their Own Food, Produce Their Own Electricity - - Mac Slavo - January 3rd, 2014 - The dream of many Americans is to get out of the hustle and bustle of the daily city grind. And what better dream to have then to move your family outside of city limits to the countryside so that you can grow your own food, produce your own electricity with solar power, and live outside the purview of an ever expanding government apparatus?                          That was the goal for hundreds of residents living on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Many own their land outright and have been living on it for decades without so much as a peep from their local government. They’ve built their homes using whatever means they had available to them. They planted their own fruits and vegetables. They even set up their own personal power production stations using solar panels and miniature wind farms.                          And they’ve lived peacefully without violating the rights of those around them and leaving a very small “carbon footprint” to boot. For all intents and purposes, they achieved a life of independence and freedom.                  But the tentacles of tyranny are everywhere and no one is protected from their grasp.              Recently, agents of the Los Angeles county government started paying visits to these rugged individualists. They claimed they were “here to help,” as one resident puts it. But, as is generally the case when the government comes knocking, they were there for exactly the opposite.                 That was once a dream come true for many quickly turned into the new American nightmare.                   Code enforcement agents for the county showed up in droves. But they didn’t come alone. Along with them came heavily armed “Nuisance Abatement Teams” who raided the homes and land of these peaceful residents as they would those of a terrorist.

Arthur Laffer speaks about the United States Economy for 2014 - Economy will change because of politics


Harry Hipps said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry Hipps said...

The debate over minimum wage increases and extended unemployment benefits is a debate over the symptoms, not the causes of our economic malaise. We have a low growth economy with stagnant wage growth and poor jobs growth. While technology is getting rid of many low skill jobs and creating some but fewer high skill jobs, I think the bigger problem is the amount of money the Feds take and the costly regulation imposed on businesses.

Most would agree that some basic regulations are good. Safe workplace rules, decent environment stewardship, honesty in contracting and accounting are things that WHEN REASONABLY IMPLEMENTED are necessary and really not controversial. The problem is that many regulations are expensive, nit picky, ineffective and politically motivated not technical in nature. Furthermore, the bureaucratic apparatus is too large and too well paid.

Government has taken over too many private functions that it shouldn't be involved in. We all want housing, access to education, people building net worth and financial security, good health and so on. But when we perceive that government will take care of this for us we have less incentive to run our lives responsibly and intelligently. And this is the critical key. No one will do better than us at running our own lives. And third parties always add costs and inefficiencies.

The Democrats want massive central planning and are getting it. The GOP claims to want limited government but mostly refuses to fight for it, leading to questions as to what they really support.

To just oppose short term programs like unemployment, without a vision for moving forward with a growth plan and plan to shrink the Feds and still have a safety net for the truly needy and a workable structure to have real needs met just makes them look uncaring and in the pockets of special interests. If the GOP can't make hay out of the misery this country is in now, they are truly clueless or corrupt. And we are desperately in need of a new direction

James Thomas Shell said...

"If the GOP can't make hay out of the misery this country is in now, they are truly clueless or corrupt."

- It's both. Look at the Hillbillies that have run this State into the ground.