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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- March 30, 2014

North Carolina Had More Job Losses Than Any Other State - Wall Street Journal - Jonathan House - March 28, 2014 - North Carolina led the U.S. in job losses last month, a sign of stress for a state scaling back its support for its jobless residents.                    The Tar Heel State shed a seasonally adjusted 11,300 jobs in February from the prior month as it continues to grapple with the decline of its traditional manufacturing, tobacco and textile industries, according to new Labor Department figures released Friday.                     Employment increased in 33 states, while it decreased in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Nationwide, payrolls rose 175,000 in February.                North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage point to 6.4%, one the nation’s largest declines, though the fall was primarily the result of a shrinking labor force. The number of people either working or looking for work declined by 64,000 people from February 2013, according to data from the North Carolina Department of Commerce.                     Some economists attribute North Carolina’s workforce exodus to the expiration in July of long-term unemployment benefits that require the unemployed to continue searching for jobs. A year ago, its unemployment rate stood at 8.6%.                         North Carolina’s employment data have been scrutinized closely since U.S. lawmakers let a federal program for long-term benefits expire Dec. 28.               So far there’s been no clear evidence that large numbers of people across the country are leaving the job market following the expiration of the federal benefits program. The nation’s labor force grew by more than half a million people in February and the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7%.

Hickory Metro 2014 - Tied for 4th Most Miserable in the United States - March 25, 2014
- Gallup through Hickory Hound - March 25, 2014
- The Hound: From dead last in 2010 to 5th worst last year to tied with three cities for 4th worst this year. We aren't the worst in any category this year, but we skew towards the bottom in every category, which includes obesity, exercise, eating fruits and vegetables, smoking, stress, and the uninsured.

Is College A Waste Of Time And Money? - The Economic Collapse Blog - Michael Snyder - March 26th, 2014 - Are you thinking of going to college?  If so, please consider that decision very carefully.  You probably have lots of people telling you that an "education" is the key to your future and that you will never be able to get a "good job" unless you go to college.  And it is true that those that go to college do earn more on average than those that do not.  However, there is also a downside.  At most U.S. colleges, the quality of the education that you will receive is a joke, the goal of most colleges is to extract as much money from you and your parents as they possibly can, and there is a very good chance that there will not be a "good job" waiting for you once you graduate.  And unless you have someone that is willing to pay your tuition bills, you will probably be facing a lifetime of crippling student loan debt payments once you get out into the real world.  So is college a waste of time and money?  In the end, it really pays to listen to both sides of the debate.
Personally, I spent eight years at U.S. public universities, and I really enjoyed those times.
But would I trade my degrees today for the time and money that I spent to get them?

Will the fixed-rate mortgage become extinct? - CNBC - Jeff Cox - March 26, 2014 - While homes will evolve considerably over the next 25 years, it is the way homes are purchased that will bear the heftiest transformation.                     As the current path progresses, mortgage financing will look worlds apart from its current form. The government won't be offering the same guarantees as it's been for generations, big banks won't have the same incentives to get in the business, and borrowing rates will be considerably higher as regulation continues to increase.                     Interviews with numerous pros in the business paint a picture of big changes to come—not all of them consumer-friendly. Most spring from a dual dynamic of the government seeking to avoid calamities like the one that triggered the financial crisis in 2008 and the industry trying to innovate and continue to profit in a more restrictive environment.                      "Even in normal times, we are going to see in all likelihood higher rates, particularly for less-than-stellar borrowers," said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at, which provides consumers with information about the latest borrowing data and trends. "Anybody who's got a smaller down payment, some weakness in their credit history or isn't fully documented is going to face the hurdle of higher interest rates and potential limited credit availability."                   That may not sound like a terribly bad thing to some ears....

Pearson furniture plant closing in High Point; 86 jobs lost - WXII (Winston-Salem) - March 27, 2014 - The longtime Pearson Co. home furnishings plant on Progress Avenue will close later this year, the second plant in the area that will be closed by the company that took over the lines of bankrupt Furniture Brands International late last year.                           Heritage Home Group this week informed employees of the Pearson plant that the factory will close in stages through the end of August. The closure of the factory, founded under previous owners in 1942, will affect 86 local employees.                         “We regret to inform you that business circumstances will force us to close our Heritage Home Group Pearson Co. location. As required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (WARN), this letter serves to give you 60 days’ advance notice of the closing,” according to a letter from Heritage Home Group, a copy of which was obtained by The High Point Enterprise.                   In January, Heritage Home Group announced it would close Thomasville Plant C and Thomasville Plant C-Area 100 in Davidson County, eliminating 84 jobs. The two plant closings in Thomasville also were blamed on adverse business conditions by Heritage Home Group executives.                            The plant closings by Heritage Home Group come as the company reportedly is being courted by High Point recruiters to relocate its corporate headquarters from its longtime home in St. Louis to here. The trade publication Furniture Today last week reported that Heritage Home Group intends to relocate its corporate office to High Point, though neither company officials nor city or High Point Market officials have publicly discussed or confirmed the move.                    Late last year, KPS Capital Partners announced the formation of a new company, Heritage Home Group, which acquired Furniture Brand International’s assets for $280 million. Furniture Brands’ holdings included Thomasville Furniture, Drexel Heritage, Broyhill, Lane, Henredon, Pearson, Hickory Chair, Lane Venture, Maitland-Smith and La Barge brands.

Paul Craig Roberts Interview on King World News - March 27, 2014 - Former US Treasury Official, Co-Founder of Reaganomics, Economist & Acclaimed Author - Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is an American economist, a columnist and recent author of “The Failure Of Laissez Faire Capitalism” -  Dr. Roberts speaks about the current situation in Ukraine and what it means to Global Dynamics and how that relates to Russia, the United States, and the Obama Administration.

NASA Predicts "Irreversible" COLLAPSE of Society
NASA has stated what we've all known for some time now. The inevitable will occur at some point in the future. When a society has accumulated too much debt and the wealth is in the hands of too few people, the world will turn upside down. Chaos will occur. Mass civil unrest will take place. Those prepared will fare best in this new era.

NASA Models Predict Total Societal Collapse: “Irreversible”
- - Mac Slavo - March 25th, 2014 -

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