Alternate Unemployment Charts

By John Williams – Re-Blogged From Shadow Stats

The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

 

Public Commentary on Unemployment

Unemployment Data Series   subcription required(Subscription required.)  View  Download Excel CSV File   Last Updated: June 5th, 2020

May 2020 ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment is 34.0%, 36.5% net of BLS errors (Flash Nos. 1435 and 1439).

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Gundlach: A ‘wave’ of layoffs is coming for $100,000/year white-collar jobs

What’s Causing Job Loss

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From WUWT

I’ve read claims on the web that the job losses in the US were due to the virus itself, and to the fear of the virus making people cut back on activities. The claims are that the job loss is more from that, and not so much a result of the American Lockdown. So I thought I’d take a look at the weekly new claims for unemployment insurance. Of course, the different states have been hit differently by the changes. Here’s the graph of weekly new unemployment claims for one of the least affected states, Oregon.

Figure 1. Weekly new unemployment claims, Oregon, since 1999. “Usual” refers to the one-year period preceding the record rise.

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US Sheds 701K Jobs, Ending a Record-Long Hiring Streak

Two-thirds of the job cuts during March were at restaurants, hotels and casinos…

US Sheds 701K Jobs, Ending a Record-Long Hiring Streak

A pedestrian walks by The Family Barbershop, closed due to a Gov. Gretchen Whitmer executive order, in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich./AP Photo

A record-long streak of U.S. job growth ended suddenly in March after nearly a decade as employers cut 701,000 jobs because of the viral outbreak that’s all but shut down the U.S. economy.

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Glub Of Recession Circling The Drain

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Who says there is no recession anywhere in sight? It depends on where you are looking. In short, manufacturing remains in recession; corporate profits remain in recession; freight remains deep in recession; Carmageddon remains in recession; and the Retail Apocalypse remains a recession for brick-and-mortar stores, while employment — the last holdout — is now also turning downward.

The manufacturing recession that everyone acknowledges as having begun last summer continues:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Economic Impact Sweeps Down on Global Economy Like a Fat Black Swan

It is the senseless things of this world that sometimes knock sense into the high and mighty whose hubris causes them to believe they cannot fall. In this case, the tiny COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) is bringing down a global house of cards long perched to fall — locks, stocks, and barrels of oil.

Stock investors thought the over-Fed market’s bull run would prove immortal, but all the overripe market needed was for a fat, black swan to drop down on the market’s head and knock some sense into it. Economic damage worldwide, however, is far from limited to stocks. Some of it seems almost silly or bizarre, but such is the case when the entire global economy is already in ill health, having survived on Fedmed for a decade.

What To Make Of The Bureau Of Lying Statistics’ Contradicting Jobs Reports

Employment has been the one stickler in my recession prediction for 2019, and finding a trustworthy measurement from the government’s statistics is like finding a virgin in a brothel. Depending on which official figures you look at, employment has refused to fall and new jobs are strong … or they stink.

We recently got two extremely conflicting reports from the same government agency that reveal, AGAIN, how dubious the official numbers from the government are. Because one report was stellar, the stock market blasted off like a rocket when it heard the news. Because the other report of the same item was abysmal, the stock market ignored it. The Fed, however, did not ignore it, and carries it in its official charts.

Estimating The Shape Of The Coming Crisis

With a recession become increasingly certain and the end of the expansionary phase of the credit cycle in sight, we can expect a periodic systemic crisis to be upon us soon. The question arises as to how serious it will be, given that despite the massive injections of extra base money since the Lehman crisis, signs of liquidity shortages are already re-emerging in financial markets.

We don’t know what will trigger the crisis, but a likely candidate is foreign selling of US dollars combining with a collapse in the US government’s finances. Perhaps the coronavirus will turn out to be a black swan event, but the underlying conditions for an economic and monetary crisis already exist.

This article looks at alternative outcomes. It concludes that the current situation bears a worrying resemblance to the collapse of John Law’s Mississippi scheme exactly 300 years ago. The key to understanding why this is so is because of the link forged between asset prices and fiat currencies. One fails, and they both fail, more rapidly than the most bearish bear might expect.

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Weaker Than Expected Payrolls

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The U.S. created 145,000 jobs in December, following an increase of 256,000 in November (after a downward revision), as the chart below shows. The nonfarm payrolls came below expectations, as the analysts forecasted 165,000 new jobs. The gains were widespread, but with a leading role of retail trade (+41,200), leisure and hospitality (+40,000), and education and health services (+36,000). Manufacturing again cut jobs (-12,000), which means that industrial recession has not ended. Mining and transportation and warehousing also dismissed workers.

Chart 1: U.S. nonfarm payrolls (green bars, left axis, change in thousands of persons) and the unemployment rate (red line, right axis, %) from January 2015 to December 2019.

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What’s green, employs ten times as many people as the “fossil fuel industry” and fake?

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

What’s green, employs ten times as many people as the “fossil fuel industry” and fake? The “green economy“.

Hat tip to Kevin McNeill…

US green economy has 10 times as many jobs as the fossil fuel industry

ENVIRONMENT 15 October 2019
By Adam Vaughan

The green economy has grown so much in the US that it employs around 10 times as many people as the fossil fuel industry – despite the past decade’s oil and gas boom.

The fossil fuel sector, from coal mines to gas power plants, employed around 900,000 people in the US in 2015-16, government figures show. But Lucien Georgeson and Mark Maslin at University College London found that over the same period this was vastly outweighed by the green economy, which provided nearly 9.5 million jobs, or 4 per cent of the working age population. The pair defined the green economy broadly, covering everything from renewable energy to environmental consultancy.

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U.S. Job Openings Drop to 1-1/2-Year Low

By Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR

FILE PHOTO: Recruiters and job seekers are seen at a job fair in Golden, Colorado, June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Recruiters and job seekers are seen at a job fair in Golden, Colorado, June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

U.S. job openings fell to a 1-1/2-year low in August and hiring slipped, suggesting employment growth was slowing mostly because of ebbing demand for labor.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, dropped by 123,000 to a seasonally adjusted 7.05 million in August, the lowest level since March 2018, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, on Wednesday.

It was the third straight monthly drop in job openings, which have been trending lower this year since scaling an all-time high of 7.6 million in late 2018. The job openings rate fell to 4.4% in August from 4.5% in July.

Hiring decreased by 199,000 jobs to 5.8 million in August, led by declines in the private sector. The hiring rate slipped to 3.8% from 3.9% in July.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 136,000 jobs in September, down from 168,000 in August, the government reported last Friday. The three-month average gain in private employment fell to 119,000, the smallest since July 2012, from 135,000 in August.

Job growth has averaged 161,000 per month this year, compared to a monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. Job gains remain above the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population. The unemployment rate fell to near a 50-year low of 3.5% in September from 3.7% in August.

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The Relentless Road to Recession

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From The Great Recession Blog 

“Show me the data,” demand those who cannot see a recession forming all around them and who keep parroting what they are told about the economy being strong because it is what they want to believe; yet, the data look like an endless march through a long summer down the road to recession.

And that is what you are going to get in this article, a seemingly endless parade of data along the recessionary road. This is for the data hounds.

As we end the summer of our discontent when few would deny that most economic talk turned toward recession and, as we begin the time when I said the stock market appears it may fulfill my prognostication of another October surprise, it’s time to lay out — again — the latest data that support my summer recession prediction. We’ll have to wait until next year for the government to officially declare a recession if one did start in September. (Yes, September is a summer month.) In the meantime, the data stream is a long line of confirmation.

How’s That Recession Coming?

Pretty good if you ask me. Most economic indicators this year have moved relentlessly in the direction of recession, and now the Cass Freight Index is saying a US recession may start in the 3rd quarter, fitting up nicely to my prediction that we would be entering recession this summer.

Cass comes on board

The Cass Freight Index is one of the most robust proxies for the US and global economies there is. If freight isn’t moving, the economy is dying. As Cass says, their’s is a simple, fundamental approach to encapsulating the economy:

Bubble Bubba Isn’t Doing Fine Anymore

Let’s take a look at how the average consumer is doing. I’ll call this typical consumer “Bubba” because I just read an article that claimed “Bubba’s doing better today than at any time since before the Korean War.” It disgusted me because I found it to be such a disingenuous set of lies wrapped in half-truths, all contrived to pacify the trickle-down peasants as that philosophy continues to short-change the middle class with its fake promise.

First of all, who cares about how Bubba was doing before the Korean War? That’s going back an awful long time to find a day the present could beat. It’s before my days, and I’m a grampa now. If you have to look back that far to find a time when Bubba wasn’t doing as “well” as he is today, you’re chasing a false narrative because working-class Bubba wasn’t even alive back then. Those pre-Korean-war Bubbas retired long ago, and frankly they are much better off today in retirement than today’s working Bubba.

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US City With Highest Min Wage Signals a ‘Tipping Point,’ Businesses Uncertain on How They’ll ‘Survive It’

The continued hike in the minimum wage in one California city — which has the highest in the U.S. — has local business owners worried.

The city of Emeryville, California, garnered the title of being the highest minimum wage city in the United States when the city saw a minimum wage hike in July from $15 to $16.30, according to The Wall Street Journal. Due to the city’s high cost of living in the Bay Area region, supporters of the wage hike saw it necessary.

Thomas White/Reuters

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Deutsche Bank Starts Cutting 18,000 Jobs in $8.3 Billion Reinvention

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Deutsche Bank laid off staff in Asia on Monday as it began cutting 18,000 jobs as part of a 7.4 billion euro ($8.3 billion) “reinvention” set to tip Germany’s largest lender into yet another annual loss.

In a retreat from a long-held ambition to make its struggling investment bank, which employs 38,000 people, a force on Wall Street, Deutsche Bank said on Sunday it would scrap its global equities operations and cut some in fixed income.

Deutsche Bank Starts Cutting 18,000 Jobs in $8.3 Billion Reinvention

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America’s Elderly Are Twice as Likely to Work Now Than in 1985

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Just as single-income families began to vanish in the last century, many of America’s elderly are now forgoing retirement for the same reason: They don’t have enough money.

Rickety social safety nets, inadequate retirement savings plans and sky high health-care costs are all conspiring to make the concept of leaving the workforce something to be more feared than desired.

For the first time in 57 years, the participation rate in the labor force of retirement-age workers has cracked the 20 percent mark, according to a new report from money manager United Income.

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Will The Fed Cut Its Interest Rate Forecast

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Some important pieces of the US economic reports, including the latest nonfarm payrolls, have disappointed recently. May indicators (including the leading ones) have hit a soft patch it seems. Will that push the Fed to downgrade its dot-plot or fine-tune the monetary policy mix anyhow? Can gold jump in reaction to the Wednesday’s FOMC policy meeting?

February Payrolls Disappoint

U.S. nonfarm payrolls plunged in February, falling way short of expectations. The economy added just 20,000 jobs last month, following a rise of 311,000 in January (after an upward revision) and significantly below 172,000 forecasted by the economists. The number was the smallest increase since September 2017, as one can see in the chart below. On an annual basis, the pace of job creation increased slightly last month to 1.8 percent.

Chart 1: Monthly changes in employment gains (red bars, in thousands of persons) from February 2014 to February 2019

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More Evidence That The Bears Have It Dead Right

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From The Great Recession Blog

In my last article, “The Bears Have it Right: Economy went Polar Opposite of Bullish Predictions,” I laid out my first prediction for 2019 — a recession by summer. I don’t want the following revelations and facts that I have since come across to get lost in comments I recently posted to that article, so I’m bringing them all together here.

How bad was 2018?

The Wall Street Journal just said it was “one of Buffett’s worst years ever.

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A Wave Of Retail Stores Close

By Mac Slavo – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Another economic red flag has appeared and its the closure of retail stores.  According to a new report detailing the precarious situation of the current economy, there is “no light at the end of the tunnel” as the closure of brick and mortar stores will continue.

Coresight Research released an outlook of 2019 store closures Wednesday, saying, there’s “no light at the end of the tunnel,” according to several reports, including one from Yahoo News.  According to the global market research firm’s report, a mere six weeks into 2019, United States retailers have announced 2,187 closings of physical stores.  That’s up 23 percent compared to last year. Those closings include 749 Gymboree stores251 Shopko store,  and 94 Charlotte Russe locations.

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Why Monetary Easing Will Fail

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The major economies have slowed suddenly in the last two or three months, prompting a change of tack in the monetary policies of central banks. The same old tired, failing inflationist responses are being lined up, despite the evidence that monetary easing has never stopped a credit crisis developing. This article demonstrates why monetary policy is doomed by citing three reasons. There is the empirical evidence of money and credit continuing to grow regardless of interest rate changes, the evidence of Gibson’s paradox, and widespread ignorance in macroeconomic circles of the role of time preference.

The current state of play

The Fed’s rowing back on monetary tightening has rescued the world economy from the next credit crisis, or at least that’s the bullish message being churned out by brokers’ analysts and the media hacks that feed off them. It brings to mind Dr Johnson’s cynical observation about an acquaintance’s second marriage being the triumph of hope over experience.

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Modern Monetary Theory: A Cargo Cult

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Newly elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) absolutely needed to be “a larger part of our conversation.” Her comment shines a spotlight on MMT. So what is it? According to Wikipedia, it is:

“a macroeconomic theory that describes the currency as a public monopoly and unemployment as the evidence that a currency monopolist is restricting the supply of the financial assets needed to pay taxes and satisfy savings desires.”

It is uncontroversial to say that the Federal Reserve has a monopoly on the dollar. So let’s look at the second proposition. Unemployment, MMT holds, is evidence that the supply of dollars is restricted.

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Dem Lawmakers Push for $15 Minimum Wage Will Have Disastrous Consequences

By Rachel Greszler – Re-Blogged From Blabber Buzz

House Democrats are looking to double the minimum wage, with little eye to the consequences.

Led by Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott, House Democrats introduced the Raise the Wage Act, which would more than double the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour by the year 2024.

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Wages, Salaries Rise by Most in Decade as US Adds 227,000 Jobs

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

U.S. wages and salaries rose by the most in a decade while private sector payrolls increased by the most in eight months in October, suggesting overall job growth accelerated this month after Hurricane Florence weighed on restaurant and retail employment in September.

The Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index showed wages and salaries, which account for 70 percent of employment costs, jumped 0.9 percent in the third quarter after climbing 0.5 percent in the prior period.

Blue-Collar Lives Seem to Be Advancing in the ‘Right Direction’

By Madison Summers – Re-Blogged From IJR

New study collected from 1,049 blue-collar workers shows they’re pretty optimistic about their lives and jobs.

In a new survey by The Harris Poll, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals, 85 percent of blue-collar workers believe their lives are heading “in the right direction.”

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

State or Individual?

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Money

The most important question faced by the human race is almost never addressed in modern times: which should be the master, the state over the individual or the individual over the state? It is particularly relevant today, bearing in mind President Trump is demolishing the established order both domestically and within America’s wider sphere of influence. The blowback he is getting from all the vested interests that have wormed their way into the processes and assumptions that drive government policy is considerable. It is very much relevant to the UK’s Brexit process, where the establishment is trying to scupper the freely expressed will of the people in a referendum.

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Rising Wages = Shrinking Corporate Profit Margins … And Falling Stock Prices?

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Today’s Wall Street Journal contains a couple of charts that illustrate a relationship that’s not getting much media attention these days: The fact that tightening labor markets are forcing companies to raise wages, in the process squeezing their own profit margins.

Historically this margin compression has been either a cause of or contributor to cyclical turning points — in other words it coincides with recessions and equity bear markets.

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Inflation Is Back, Part 9: Two Sentences Say It All

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Okay, one more look at wage inflation, followed by a short diatribe on the unfairness of life.

As the labor markets get tighter, power is finally shifting from companies to workers. For some reason Iowa is leading the way (the promised two sentences are in bold):

Say Hello to Full Employment — Want to know where the economy is headed? Look at Des Moines

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German Industrial Training and Changing Technology

By Russ Juskalian – Re-Blogged From MIT Technology Review

The Ausbildung is widely touted as an example other countries should follow. But it’s struggling to keep up with technological change.

Within buildings 10 and 30 of the Siemens complex on the outskirts of Munich, the next generation of German workers are toiling over a range of test projects. The assignments are carefully chosen to impart the skills needed to continue the German miracle in automated manufacturing.

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Nearly 102 Million Working Age Americans Do Not Have A Job

By Michael Snyder – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Don’t get too excited about the “good employment numbers” that you are hearing about from the mainstream media.  The truth is that they actually aren’t very good at all.  For years, the federal government has been taking numbers out of one category and putting them into another category and calling it “progress”, and in this article, we will break down exactly what has been happening.  We are being told that the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to “3.8 percent”, which is supposedly the lowest that it has been “in nearly 50 years”.  If these were honest numbers that would be great news.  But these are not honest numbers…

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Who Is Going to Suffer From Automation?

By Kristin Houser – Re-Blogged From Futurism

Educated Guesses

Thanks to rapid advances in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, smart machines that would have once been relegated to works of science-fiction are now a part of our reality.

Today, we have AIs that can pick apples, manage hotels, and diagnose cancer. Researchers at MIT have even developed an algorithm that can predict the immediate future. If only they could train it to predict how automation is going to impact the human workforce…

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Inflation Poised to Roar as Producer Prices Rise More Than Expected

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in October, driven by a surge in the cost of services, and there were also signs of steady increases in underlying wholesale inflation.

The Labor Department on Tuesday said its producer price index for final demand increased 0.4 percent last month after a similar gain in September. In the 12 months through October, the PPI jumped 2.8 percent, which was the largest increase since February 2012. The PPI rose 2.6 percent year-on-year in September.

Image: Inflation Poised to Roar as Producer Prices Rise More Than Expected
(DreamsTime)

Continue To Beware The Job Numbers (Is it The Bureau Of Labor Statistics Or Bureau of Lying Statistics?)

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The Walmart Guy vs Anti-Capitalism Millennials

By Lloyd Marcus – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

Though we have never met, I smiled recently seeing my favorite Walmart employee. For over ten years, I witnessed him gathering shopping carts in the parking lot. He is a white millennial who only has the use of one arm, walks with a severe limp and appears slightly mentally challenged. I once saw him leaving work driving a new looking compact car. My wife Mary prepared his taxes when she worked for a tax preparation company. I thought, “Hey, this brother has got it goin’ on — doin’ his thing.”

The Walmart guy could easily qualify for disability; sit home on his butt allowing taxpayers to take care of him. Far too many able-bodied millennials feel entitled, believing government should provide them free everything.

The Walmart guy’s work-ethic, self-reliance and pride in earning his own way is truly refreshing. The Obama Administration practically begged Americans, even non-citizens http://bit.ly/1ixsqOm, to get on food stamps and to apply for as many government freebies as possible. This addicts voters to government handouts and keeps them voting for their Democrat dealers. Disability claims skyrocketed under Obama. http://bit.ly/1ts1LYs

Disturbingly, polls say a majority of millennials reject Capitalism. http://wapo.st/2mINyo7 They believe Socialism is fair and compassionate and Capitalism is selfish and cruel. This explains “yutes” hero worship of socialist/democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Millennials love Sanders’ promise to take the hard earned wealth of achievers to redistribute to lazy pot-smoking losers. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

Socialism always ends up spreading mediocrity and misery equally among the masses while the rulers live high on the hog. Have you noticed that Hollywood Leftists and socialist politicians want government to force us to drive tiny tin-can cars, surrender our guns and lower our carbon footprint? Meanwhile, they travel in gas-guzzling limos and private jets with armed guards.

Capitalism gives everyone a shot at achieving their American dream. I will slap the next fellow black person who whines to me about how whitey has stacked the deck again us. Capitalism birthed America’s first female millionaire, a black woman born in 1867. Madam C. J. Walker was an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist. http://bit.ly/2byUBOr Socialism would have enslaved Madam Walker to the government system, giving her just enough free stuff to get by. Okay, I promise not to slap anyone.

It was depressing hearing it reported that a large number of Americans support taxing income over a million dollars at 100%. First of all, confiscating that money would generate around $616 billion which only covers a third of our annual deficit. http://bit.ly/2tGS3CR

But what is most troubling is the disgusting class envy loser mindset of those who believe it is right for government to take people’s hard earned money. They do not realize that such financial tyranny would kill jobs and the incentive to be all one can be. How dare government place limits on success. Such thinking is un-American, counter to our God inspired founding.

We allowed Leftists’ silent-coup-takeover of public education decades ago. Consequently, Leftists have produced an army of stealth Leftist sleeper-cell operatives against their parents. Remember when Leftists instructed kids to steal their parent’s guns and turn them in to their teaches? http://bit.ly/2vgZ3bj Remember Michele Obama instructing students to report politically incorrect speech at the dinner table? http://bit.ly/1qL62Dz

Outrageously, white students are taught beginning in kindergarten that they were born racist. http://dailym.ai/29AwJVZ In essence, white students are taught to feel ashamed and hate themselves for their unfair white privilege. The Walmart guy is on Leftists’ excrement list simply for being a working class white male. http://bit.ly/2tfHN58 It angers me envisioning Leftist bullies getting into the grill of my Walmart guy, scolding him about his evil white privilege.

Students support black college student’s demand for free tuition and housing. http://fxn.ws/2kPQEWP

Black students also expect academic and behavioral standards lowered for them. I’m a 68 year old black man. I would be highly offended having standards lowered for me. Millennials quickly embrace Leftists twisting everything into evidence of unfairness and white American racism.

Years ago, a white friend shared that her son came home from middle-school in tears about how white men abused everyone; blacks, women, native Americans and so on. Today her son is an America hating Communist who still believes European white men are the greatest source of evil in the world.

Folks, we much turn this mess around regarding Leftists’ indoctrination of our kids. Trump appointing Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education is a major step in the right direction. DeVos favors restoring power back to parents regarding the education of their children.

Oh, we’re out of milk. I’m confident I will see my Walmart guy diligently working.

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Harvard Study Shows Minimum Wage Increases Kill Businesses

By Keely Sharp – Re-Blogged From Eagle Rising

While there are McDonald fry cooks out protesting for $15 an hour to flip burgers and almost always get our orders wrong, some of us can actually see the harm in minimum wage hikes.

When wages are increased, then a business must then charge more for their product in order to cover the costs, due to inflation. For example, you may go from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour, but now a gallon of milk jumps from $4 to $8. So you aren’t really able to afford anything more than you were in the first place, and it hurts the businesses.

A new Harvard Business School study found that minimum wage hikes lead to closures of small businesses. “We find suggestive evidence that an increase in the minimum wage leads to an overall increase in the rate of exit,” the researchers conclude.

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The Forces Driving Democratic Recession

By Jay Ogilvy – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Liberal democracy is in retreat across the globe. Following decades of expansion since the 1950s, the spread of democracy hit a wall in the new millennium. Freedom House, using carefully crafted metrics, has measured a decline in democracy and freedom worldwide. Definitions are important: Does the fact of elections, even where the outcome is autocratically determined, qualify a country as a democracy? By most measures and definitions, there are now about 25 fewer democratic countries than there were at the turn of the millennium.

Founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy Larry Diamond wrote a 2015 paper, “Facing up to the Democratic Recession.” Diamond asks, reasonably enough, “Why have freedom and democracy been regressing in many countries? The most important and pervasive answer is, in brief, bad governance.” But this tells us very little. How and why has governance been so bad?

Stalling Engines: The Outlook for U.S. Economic Growth

By John P Hussman – Re-Blogged From Hussman Funds

Imagine driving a car moving down the road at 20 miles an hour. You hold a rope out the window. At the other end of that rope is a skateboard. If the skateboard is behind the car, yanking the rope pulls the skateboard forward, so the skateboard might temporarily speed ahead until it gets way ahead of the car and the rope tightens again. At that point, yanking the rope will pull the skateboard back, so even while the car continues down the road at 20 miles an hour, the skateboard actually loses ground for a while. Over the long-term, the car and the skateboard move ahead at the same speed, but the speed of the skateboard over shorter horizons depends on its position relative to the underlying trend.

The same proposition applies to the trajectory of numerous economic and financial variables. We have to be attentive to at least two things: 1) the central tendency of growth in underlying fundamentals, and 2) our current position, relative to that central tendency. The difference between the two is what separates longer-term growth from cyclical fluctuations.

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The US Economy…Post-Payrolls And Pre-FOMC

By Gary Tanashian – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

This week’s Notes From the Rabbit Hole included a little Payrolls/Wages related economic discussion before moving on to the usual coverage of stock markets, commodities, precious metals, bonds, currencies and related indicators and market internals.  With FOMC on tap there will be more data noise directly ahead, but then I expect markets to smooth out into what is looking like a sensible short and intermediate-term plan.

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Mike Rowe: “If you really want to make America great again, you’ve got to make work cool again” [VIDEO]

Television host Mike Rowe. the former “Dirty Jobs” host and QVC pitchman said he’s sent letters to both former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump drawing attention to this.


Mike Rowe on How to Combat Unemployment & the Skills Gap | Fox News Insider

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Pepsi Laying Off 100 Philadelphia Workers after Only Two Months of Onerous Soda Tax

By MJ Randolph – Re-Blogged From http://www.truthrevolt.org

Unexpectedly, onerous taxes in Philadelphia are hurting businesses… and the people who work there.  The latest casualty? Philadelphia Pepsi workers. Business Insider reports:

PepsiCo is laying off 80 to 100 workers at distribution plants serving Philadelphia. According to the company, a soda tax that is cutting the area’s soda consumption is to blame.

The layoffs, which account for roughly 20% of Pepsi’s 423 Philadelphia employees, will begin Wednesday and be spread out over the next few months, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“Unfortunately, after careful consideration of the economic realities created by the recently enacted beverage tax, we have been forced to give notice that we intend to eliminate 80-100 positions, including frontline and supervisory roles, in Philadelphia over the next few months, beginning today,” Pepsi said in a statement to Business Insider.

Philadelphia’s soda tax passed in June 2016 and went into effect in January of this year. The 1.5-cent-per-ounce soda tax is expected to raise about $91 million annually.

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US Economic Freedom Has Hit a Historic Low. What Happened?

By Anthony B Kim – Re-Blogged From Daily Signal

It’s already been eight years since the Great Recession, yet the U.S. economy has been just inching along, with its productivity flagging and millions being locked out of the labor market.

One critical underlying factor for this lack of economic dynamism has been the startling decline of America’s economic freedom, an unfortunate legacy of Barack Obama’s eight-year presidency.

The Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom—an annual global study that compares countries’ entrepreneurial environments—highlights the urgent need for the U.S. to change course. For the ninth time since 2008, America has lost ground.

According to the 2017 index, the U.S. ranks 17th out of 180 rated economies, lagging behind other comparable advanced economies such as Switzerland (fourth), Australia (fifth), Canada (seventh), and the United Kingdom (12th).

The U.S. remains mired in the ranks of the “mostly free,” the second-tier economic freedom status into which it dropped in 2010.

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According To “Unmassaged Data” The US Economy Is Rolling Over

By Graham Summers – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Yet another “unmassaged” data point has shown that the US economy is rolling over.

If you’ve been reading me for a while you know that one of my biggest pet peeves is the fact that headline US economic data (GDP growth, unemployment, inflation, etc.) is massaged to the point of being fiction.

For this reason, in order to get a real read on the economy, you have to look for economic metrics that are unpopular enough that the beancounters don’t bother adjusting them.

Case in point, look at the latest employment trend for S&P 500 companies (H/T Sam Ro).

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10-Year US Treasury Yield Will Break Out Of 35-year Range By Yearend 2016!

By Gijsbert Groenewegen – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Why Interest Rates Will Break Out: Illiquidity, NO Vote Italy And Increasing Risk

Gundlach believes that Trump’s policies can raise the bond yields to 6% in the next 4 to 5 years. I believe that the recent surge in interest rates worldwide, with global bonds posting the biggest two-week loss ($1.8trn) in 26 years (since 1990) as President-elect Donald Trump sent inflation expectations surging, will rise above 3% before the end of 2016. Why? Because investors, mainly the hedge funds, and not so much the life insurance and pension companies that often hold their bonds until maturity, must get wary that the 10y Treasury Yield might break the 2.5% (we have already reached the 2.40% level on Wednesday November 23) and subsequently the very important 3% – see below.

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How to Fix Unemployment

By Dale Netherton – Re-Blogged From http://www.iPatriot.com

Unemployment is at 4.9% if you believe government figures.  Some have placed it as high as 17%.  Like the fudged figures of global warming and inflation they are probably not only inaccurate but distorted.

When the first jobs came into being they were the result of a businessperson seeking labor to increase his production rate to meet the demand of his customers.  These laborers were hired and paid from the profits the businessperson was able to make.  Anything before this phenomena took place was the result of plunder and confiscation.  The method of confiscation is the way of government and criminals.  Government takes and redistributes but it neither creates wealth or trades for its revenues.  The government could trade if it were confident it could raise revenues voluntarily but it prefers to use the method of the criminal by way of taxation.

In the scheme of things government is a limited agency that is created to protect the individual rights of the citizens.  It cannot be created for anything else without introducing a method of confiscation.  When that occurs its reason for being is negated by the injustice it promotes and enforces.  Eventually all government that ignores this fundamental ingredient of its reason for being evolves from a free society to a slave pen where the government rules by regulation and taxation, eventual deficit spending and hyperinflation which destroys the currency and demolishes the fiscal integrity of the nation which leads to chaos, rioting, revolution and unless a limited government is created, the scenario repeats itself.

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