Posts tagged income
37 Reasons Why “The Economic Recovery Of 2013″ Is A Giant Lie
“If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.” Sadly, that appears to be the approach that the Obama administration and the mainstream media are taking with the U.S. economy. They seem to believe that if they just keep telling the American people over and over that things are getting better, eventually the American people will believe that it is actually true. On Friday, it was announced that the unemployment rate had fallen to “7 percent”, and the mainstream media responded with a mix of euphoria and jubilation. For example, one USA Today article declared that “with today’s jobs report, one really can say that our long national post-financial crisis nightmare is over.” But is that actually the truth? As you will see below, if you assume that the labor force participation rate in the U.S. is at the long-term average, the unemployment rate in the United States would actually be 11.5 percent instead of 7 percent. There has been absolutely no employment recovery. The percentage of Americans that are actually working has stayed between 58 and 59 percent for 51 months in a row. But most Americans don’t understand these things and they just take whatever the mainstream media tells them as the truth.
And of course the reality of the matter is that we should have seen some sort of an economic recovery by now. Those running our system have literally been mortgaging the future in a desperate attempt to try to pump up our economic numbers. The federal government has been on the greatest debt binge in U.S. history and the Federal Reserve has been printing money like crazed lunatics. All of that “stimulus” should have had some positive short-term effects on the economy.
Sadly, all of those “emergency measures” do not appear to have done much at all. The percentage of Americans that have a job has stayed remarkably flat since the end of 2009, median household income has fallen for five years in a row, and the rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen for eight years in a row. Anyone that claims that the U.S. economy is experiencing a “recovery” is simply not telling the truth. The following are 37 reasons why “the economic recovery of 2013″ is a giant lie…
#1 The only reason that the official unemployment rate has been declining over the past couple of years is that the federal government has been pretending that millions upon millions of unemployed Americans no longer want a job and have “left the labor force”. As Zero Hedge recently demonstrated, if the labor force participation rate returned to the long-term average of 65.8 percent, the official unemployment rate in the United States would actually be 11.5 percent instead of 7 percent.
#2 The percentage of Americans that are actually working is much lower than it used to be. In November 2000, 64.3 percent of all working age Americans had a job. When Barack Obama first entered the White House, 60.6 percent of all working age Americans had a job. Today, only 58.6 percent of all working age Americans have a job. In fact, as you can see from the chart posted below, there has been absolutely no “employment recovery” since the depths of the last recession…
#3 The employment-population ratio has now been under 59 percent for 51 months in a row.
#4 There are 1,148,000 fewer Americans working today than there was in November 2006. Meanwhile, our population has grown by more than 16 million people during that time frame.
#5 The “inactivity rate” for men in their prime working years (25 to 54) has just hit a brand new all-time record high. Does this look like an “economic recovery” to you?…
#6 The number of working age Americans without a job has increased by a total of 27 million since the year 2000.
#9 Only about 47 percent of all adults in America have a full-time job at this point.
#10 The ratio of wages to corporate profits in the United States just hit a brand new all-time low.
#11 It is hard to believe, but in America today one out of every ten jobs is now filled by a temp agency.
#12 Approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.
#13 In this economic environment, there is intense competition even for the lowest paying jobs. Wal-Mart recently opened up two new stores in Washington D.C., and more than 23,000 people applied for just 600 positions. That means that only about 2.6 percent of the applicants were ultimately hired. In comparison, Harvard offers admission to 6.1 percent of their applicants.
#14 According to the Social Security Administration, 40 percent of all U.S. workers make less than $20,000 a year.
#15 When Barack Obama took office, the average duration of unemployment in this country was 19.8 weeks. Today, it is 37.2 weeks.
#16 According to the New York Times, long-term unemployment in America is up by 213 percent since 2007.
#17 Thanks to Obama administration policies which are systematically killing off small businesses in the United States, the percentage of self-employed Americans is at an all-time low today.
Bush Sr.: 11.3
Bush Jr.: 10.8
#19 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row.
#20 The rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen for eight years in a row.
#21 Back in 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance. Today, only 54.9 percent of all Americans are covered by employment-based health insurance, and thanks to Obamacare millions more Americans are now losing their health insurance plans.
#23 Total consumer credit has risen by a whopping 22 percent over the past three years.
#24 In 2008, the total amount of student loan debt in this country was sitting at about 440 billion dollars. Today, it has shot up to approximately a trillion dollars.
#25 Under Barack Obama, the velocity of money (a very important indicator of economic health) has plunged to a post-World War II low.
#26 Back in the year 2000, our trade deficit with China was 83 billion dollars. In 2008, our trade deficit with China was 268 billion dollars. Last year, it was 315 billion dollars. That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in world history.
#27 The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is at an all-time record high.
#28 Right now, 1.2 million students that attend public schools in the United States are homeless. That is a brand new all-time record high, and that number has risen by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.
#29 When Barack Obama first entered the White House, there were about 32 million Americans on food stamps. Today, there are more than 47 million Americans on food stamps.
#30 Right now, approximately one out of every five households in the United States is on food stamps.
#31 According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.
#32 In 2000, the U.S. government spent 199 billion dollars on Medicaid. In 2008, the U.S. government spent 338 billion dollars on Medicaid. In 2012, the U.S. government spent 417 billion dollars on Medicaid, and now Obamacare is going to add tens of millions more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
#33 In 2000, the U.S. government spent 219 billion dollars on Medicare. In 2008, the U.S. government spent 462 billion dollars on Medicare. In 2012, the U.S. government spent 560 billion dollars on Medicare, and that number is expected to absolutely skyrocket in the years ahead as the Baby Boomers retire.
#34 According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record high 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program.
#35 The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.
#37 The U.S. national debt is on pace to more than double during the eight years of the Obama administration. In other words, under Barack Obama the U.S. government will accumulate more debt than it did under all of the other presidents in U.S. history combined.
Fortunately, it appears that most Americans are not buying into the propaganda. According to a new CNN survey, the percentage of Americans that believe that the economy is getting worse far exceeds the percentage of Americans that believe that the economy is improving…
Americans views on the state of the nation are turning increasingly sour, according to a new national poll.
And a CNN/ORC International survey released Friday also indicates that less than a quarter of the public says that economic conditions are improving, while nearly four in ten say the nation’s economy is getting worse.
Forty-one percent of those questioned in the poll say things are going well in the country today, down nine percentage points from April, and the lowest that number has been in CNN polling since February 2012. Fifty-nine percent say things are going badly, up nine points from April.
So what do you think?
Do you believe that the U.S. economy is getting better or getting worse?
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Why Obamacare Will Motivate Millions Of Americans To Make Less Money And Get Divorced
Did you know that Obamacare contains huge incentives that will actually motivate people to try to reduce their incomes? It’s true. Under Obamacare, making less money can pay off big time. As you will see below, reducing your income by just $1,000 could get you an Obamacare subsidy worth over $14,000. Who wouldn’t want to make that trade? And guess what? Obamacare also makes divorce highly profitable for millions of American couples. In fact, there are some U.S. couples that are already considering divorce due to the provisions contained in the new health care law. Of course those couples still plan to live together – they just want to get divorced so that they can save thousands of dollars on their health care expenses. Yes, I know that sounds absolutely crazy. But this is actually happening. The truth is that Obamacare is turning out to be a much larger disaster than anyone anticipated, and it seems like new “surprises” just keep popping up with each passing day.
The figures that you are about to see were calculated using the Kaiser Family Foundation subsidy calculator. These numbers apply to a husband and a wife that are both 62 years old.
A non-smoking, married couple living in San Francisco, California earning $63,000 a year will have to pay $20,318 a year for a silver plan under Obamacare and $12,647 a year for a bronze plan.
At $63,000, that couple would be making too much money to be eligible for a subsidy, so that couple will have to pay the total cost of whatever plan they choose by themselves.
But if that couple only made $62,000 a year, things would dramatically change.
The plans would still cost the same, but the couple would now be eligible for an Obamacare subsidy of $14,428.
So a silver plan would end up costing them only $5,890, and they would ultimately pay nothing for a bronze plan.
In other words, by reducing their income by $1,000, that couple would save $14,428 if they got a silver plan or they would save $12,647 if they got a bronze plan.
Isn’t that bizarre?
And as I mentioned above, Obamacare also contains a huge incentive to get divorced. In fact, according to a recent Breitbart article some couples are already considering doing this…
Nona Willis-Aronoqitz, 29, and Aaron Cassara, 32, are full-time freelancers and earn more than $62,000 a year, which means they do not qualify for the subsidies under Obamacare. The couple realized, however, they would be able to afford the plans if they divorce.
Not only that, two single people living together can actually make far more than $62,000 a year and still be eligible for large Obamacare subsidies. This was explained in a recent article posted on the website of The Atlantic…
Any married couple that earns more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level—that is $62,040—for a family of two earns too much for subsidies under Obamacare. “If you’re over 400 percent of poverty, you’re never eligible for premium” support, explains Gary Claxton, director of the Health Care Marketplace Project at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
But if that same couple lived together unmarried, they could earn up to $45,960 each—$91,920 total—and still be eligible for subsidies through the exchanges in New York state, where insurance is comparatively expensive and the state exchange was set up in such a way as to not provide lower rates for younger people.
So Obamacare is going to motivate millions of Americans to make less money and get divorced.
What a wonderful law.
Meanwhile, millions of Americans are having their existing health care policies taken away from them even though Obama repeatedly promised us that this would never happen…
According to one analysis, 52 million Americans could lose their current health plans by the time this is all over…
Yet advisers did say in 2010 that there were large caveats and that anyone whose insurance plan changed would lose the promised protection of being able to keep existing plans. And a report in 2010 said that as many as 69 percent of certain employer-based insurance plans would lose that protection, meaning as many as 41 million people could lose their plans even if they wanted to keep them and would be forced into other plans. Another 11 million who bought their own insurance also could lose their plans. Combined, as many as 52 million Americans could lose or have lost old insurance plans.
Another analysis conducted by Forbes projects that 93 million Americans will ultimately lose their health insurance policies.
In any event, hopefully everyone can agree that this is a complete and total nightmare.
And as Americans are losing their current health insurance policies, they are being told that their new policies will be much more expensive.
For example, it is being estimated that health insurance premiums for healthy 30-year-old men will rise by an average of 260 percent.
But some families are being hit much harder than that.
Obamacare is named the “Affordable Care Act,” after all, and the President promised the rates would be “as low as a phone bill.” But I just received a confirmed letter from a friend in Texas showing a 539% rate increase on an existing policy that’s been in good standing for years.
As the letter reveals (see below), the cost for this couple’s policy under Humana is increasing from $212.10 per month to $1,356.60 per month. This is for a couple in good health whose combined income is less than $70K — a middle-class family, in other words.
Could you afford that kind of an increase?
All of these problems are even causing large numbers of Obama supporters to turn on Obamacare…
Obama supporters on the West Coast are experiencing similar surprises. In San Francisco, husband and wife Lee Hammack and JoEllen Brothers, who describe themselves as “cradle Democrats,” were alarmed when they received their insurance cancelation notice informing them that their previous $550 monthly premium would now be almost $1,300, their deductible would be higher, they would pay higher hospital costs, and their out-of-pocket maximum would increase.
And of course the technical problems that are plaguing the Obamacare health insurance exchanges continue.
For instance, Oregon’s health care exchange has not enrolled a single person yet.
In North Carolina, we find a similar situation…
In fact, only one person was able to successfully use Healthcare.gov to enroll in the new exchange.
But even that single person has not paid, which means the enrollment is not complete.
In Washington D.C., things are much better. Five people in D.C. have been able to successfully enroll in Obamacare at this point.
Down in Florida, one man spent an entire month unsuccessfully trying to navigate Healthcare.gov…
Since Oct. 2, Miami resident Nick Athanassiadis has spent several hours a day—nearly every day—on the Internet repeatedly trying to create an account on the federal Obamacare marketplace to see if insurance plans being sold there might be less expensive than his current coverage.
But despite having a long background in digital and software companies, Athanassiadis was repeatedly thwarted by a head-spinning series of glitches, system outages, blank screens, error messages, broken or nonexistent Web links and other hurdles on the HealthCare.gov site that kept his goal out of reach for weeks.
And even when he finally—finally—reached that goal, he didn’t like what he saw.
This has got to be the most disastrous launch of a major national law in U.S. history.
So what do you think about Obamacare so far?
Image credit: http://thetruthwins.com
Ron Paul: Obamacare ‘A Conspiracy Of Stupidity’
Dr. Paul isn’t the only medical doctor who is completely fed up with medical central planning. I’ve talked with a few and each one is deeply concerned about how it will impact care.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
30 Statistics About Americans Under The Age Of 30 That Will Blow Your Mind
Why are young people in America so frustrated these days? You are about to find out. Most young adults started out having faith in the system. They worked hard, they got good grades, they stayed out of trouble and many of them went on to college. But when their educations where over, they discovered that the good jobs that they had been promised were not waiting for them at the end of the rainbow. Even in the midst of this so-called “economic recovery”, the full-time employment rate for Americans under the age of 30 continues to fall. And incomes for that age group continue to fall as well. At the same time, young adults are dealing with record levels of student loan debt. As a result, more young Americans than ever are putting off getting married and having families, and more of them than ever are moving back in with their parents.
It can be absolutely soul crushing when you discover that the “bright future” that the system had been promising you for so many years turns out to be a lie. A lot of young people ultimately give up on the system and many of them end up just kind of drifting aimlessly through life. The following is an example from a recent Wall Street Journal article…
James Roy, 26, has spent the past six years paying off $14,000 in student loans for two years of college by skating from job to job. Now working as a supervisor for a coffee shop in the Chicago suburb of St. Charles, Ill., Mr. Roy describes his outlook as “kind of grim.”
“It seems to me that if you went to college and took on student debt, there used to be greater assurance that you could pay it off with a good job,” said the Colorado native, who majored in English before dropping out. “But now, for people living in this economy and in our age group, it’s a rough deal.”
Young adults as a group have been experiencing a tremendous amount of economic pain in recent years. The following are 30 statistics about Americans under the age of 30 that will blow your mind…
#1 The labor force participation rate for men in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket is at an all-time low.
#2 The ratio of what men in the 18 to 29 year old age bracket are earning compared to the general population is at an all-time low.
#3 Only about a third of all adults in their early 20s are working a full-time job.
#4 For the entire 18 to 29 year old age bracket, the full-time employment rate continues to fall. In June 2012, 47 percent of that entire age group had a full-time job. One year later, in June 2013, only 43.6 percent of that entire age group had a full-time job.
#5 Back in the year 2000, 80 percent of men in their late 20s had a full-time job. Today, only 65 percent do.
#6 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 year old age bracket was about 6.5 percent. Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.
#7 American families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
#8 During 2012, young adults under the age of 30 accounted for 23 percent of the workforce, but they accounted for a whopping 36 percent of the unemployed.
#9 During 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.
#10 At this point about half of all recent college graduates are working jobs that do not even require a college degree.
#11 The number of Americans in the 16 to 29 year old age bracket with a job declined by 18 percent between 2000 and 2010.
#12 According to one survey, 82 percent of all Americans believe that it is harder for young adults to find jobs today than it was for their parents to find jobs.
#13 Incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation since the year 2000.
#14 In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger. Today, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.
#15 In 2011, SAT scores for young men were the worst that they had been in 40 years.
#16 Incredibly, approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.
#17 According to the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student loan debt has risen by 275 percent since 2003.
#19 The total amount of student loan debt in the United States now exceeds the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.
#20 According to the U.S. Department of Education, 11 percent of all student loans are at least 90 days delinquent.
#21 The student loan default rate in the United States has nearly doubled since 2005.
#22 One survey found that 70% of all college graduates wish that they had spent more time preparing for the “real world” while they were still in college.
#23 In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.
#24 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.
#25 Today, an all-time low 44.2 percent of all Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are married.
#26 According to the Pew Research Center, 57 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket lived with their parents during 2012.
#27 One poll discovered that 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.
#28 Young men are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young women the same age are.
#29 Overall, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents according to Time Magazine.
#30 Young Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated that previous generations have saddled them with a nearly 17 trillion dollar national debt that they are expected to make payments on for the rest of their lives.
And this trend is not just limited to the United States. As I have written about frequently, unemployment rates for young adults throughout Europe have been soaring to unprecedented heights. For example, the unemployment rate for those under the age of 25 in Italy has now reached 40.1 percent.
Simon Black of the Sovereign Man blog discussed this global trend in a recent article on his website…
Youth unemployment rates in these countries are upwards of 40% to nearly 70%. The most recent figures published by the Italian government show yet another record high in youth unemployment.
An entire generation is now coming of age without being able to leave the nest or have any prospect of earning a decent wage in their home country.
This underscores an important point that I’ve been writing about for a long time: young people in particular get the sharp end of the stick.
They’re the last to be hired, the first to be fired, the first to be sent off to fight and die in foreign lands, and the first to have their benefits cut.
And if they’re ever lucky enough to find meaningful employment, they can count on working their entire lives to pay down the debts of previous generations through higher and higher taxes.
But when it comes time to collect… finally… those benefits won’t be there for them.
Meanwhile, the overall economy continues to get even weaker.
In the United States, Gallup’s daily economic confidence index is now the lowest that it has been in more than a year.
For young people that are in high school or college right now, the future does not look bright. In fact, this is probably as good as the U.S. economy is going to get. It is probably only going to be downhill from here.
The system is failing, and young people are going to become even angrier and even more frustrated.
So what will that mean for our future?
Image credit : http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Today’s crony economy is killing the middle class
The only people who have seen their real incomes increase under this president have been the top 5% of earners. Those with large investment portfolios have seen their assets grow – or perhaps more accurately, have watched them inflate – while most of America has seen its income reduced over the last 5 years. Adjusted for inflation the average household in America makes less than 2008. Quite a bit less.
Crony capitalism has much to do with this. Those who have connections in government game the system for their benefit reaping rewards from the unwashed and often unknowing cubical serfs who populate the American landscape. (Or at least used to.)
(From Real Clear Markets)
Never has it been so good to be invested in a vastly expanding federal government — either to distribute or receive federal subsidies. Never has it been so lucrative to work in banking or on Wall Street. And never has it been so bad to try to find a decent job making something real.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Bernie Sanders Passionately Decries the American Oligarchy on the Senate Floor
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is the longest serving Independent member of Congress in American history. While I certainly don’t agree with him on everything, I have always respected his willingness to call out the Federal Reserve for the fascist cartel that it is. He has often accurately called it “socialism for the rich.” Back in 2010 he explained:
The Federal Reserve loaned $16.1 billion to General Electric and $3 billion to JPMorgan Chase during the 2008 financial crisis, even as Jeffrey R. Immelt of G.E. and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan sat on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York board of directors. “It is an obvious conflict of interest,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Sunday. Sanders wrote the amendment to the Wall Street reform law that required the Fed to disclose some 21,000 transactions involving more than $3.3 trillion during the financial crisis. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke tried to keep the information secret. It appears that we are very much a country in which we practice socialism for the rich and rugged capitalism for everyone else.
Bernie recently took to the Senate floor to decry the plutocratic, oligarch driven Banana Republic that America has turned into ever since the Wall Street coup of 2008. In a town filled with unconscious money grabbing zombies, he is a giant breath of fresh air. Enjoy.
Video capture added to Mike’s original post.
Income of the Average American Family is Crashing
According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, the typical American family makes less than it did in 1989. In 1989, the median American household made $51,681 in current dollars (the 2012 number is $51,017). That means that 24 years ago, a middle class American family was making more than the a middle class family made one year ago.
It’s all about government regulations suffocating the economy and making it more expensive for firms to hire workers. In a few years, if Obamacare is in full operation, I expect to see a decline in American life expectancy. Welcome, to your centrally planned life.
The “New Economy” Is The No Jobs Economy — Paul Craig Roberts
One of my most popular columns was about escaping from the Matrix existence in which Americans live. It is a world of disinformation and misinformation in which facts are fiction, and abstract theories are substituted for empirical reality.
Official government statistics are make-believe. The government makes inflation and unemployment disappear by how it defines inflation and unemployment, and it makes the economy grow by how it defines Gross Domestic Product. The definitional basis determines the statistical result.
For example, in his report on the official GDP revisions released July 31, John Williams (shadowstats.com) writes that “academic theories, often with strong political biases, have been used to alter the GDP model over the years, resulting in “Pollyanna Creep,” where changes made to the series invariably have had the effect of upping near-term economic growth.” In other words, definitional changes produce economic growth whether or not the economy produces economic growth.
Inflation is made to disappear by substituting lower priced items for higher priced items and by defining price rises as quality improvements. Thus, the higher prices don’t count as inflation.
Unemployment disappears by defining discouraged workers who cannot find employment as people who are no longer in the work force. They simply are disappeared out of the ranks of the unemployed. It reminds me of Punjab’s magic blanket in the old cartoon strip, “Little Orphan Annie.” Punjab disposed of problem people by covering them with his blanket, or perhaps it was a rug, and they disappeared.
Despite the absurdity of the government’s data, Wall Street awaits with baited breath each new release to decide whether markets should go up or down or stay the same. In other words, the financial markets themselves take guidance from make believe numbers. In short, capitalism is rudderless. It has no reliable indicators. Everything is rigged to support the Matrix which keeps the population in a stupor.
Certainly the monthly payroll jobs number is misconstrued and has undeserved influence. If the economy is down, a jobs number significantly higher than the approximately 130,000 new jobs required to stay even with population growth is seen as a beacon of recovery. But the number is so distorted, as John Williams explains, by shifting and unstable seasonal adjustments and an average monthly add-on of 52,000 jobs from the “birth-death” model that no one really knows what the number is. Only a statistician like John Williams who is very familiar with the government’s data procedures can make much sense from the official statistics.
I take a simpler approach. I look at where the reported jobs are alleged to be. In the 21st century, the jobs created by “the world’s largest economy” have been lowly-paid, non-tradable, domestic service third world jobs. Manufacturing and tradable professional service jobs such as software engineering have been moved offshore to low-wage, low-salary locations. The savings in labor costs have enriched corporate executives, Wall Street, and shareholders.
I have made this point monthly for many years, and it has had no effect on economists, policymakers, money managers, or financial markets, all of which continue in their make-believe world of make-believe reality.
Here we go, one more time. Of the 161,000 reported private sector jobs gained in July, 157,000 or 97.5 percent, are in non-tradable domestic services. A non-tradable service is a job that produces services that cannot be exported, such as waitresses, bartenders, hospital orderlies, retail clerks, warehousemen. Thus, no matter how large the number might be, it cannot reduce the huge US trade deficit. Most of these jobs are part-time jobs without health or pension benefits. People in these jobs tend to live hand-to-mouth. These jobs do not produce sufficient income to drive a consumer economy.
Of these 157,000 reported jobs, 63,000 or 40 percent are reported to be in trade, transportation, and utilities. Of these 63,000 jobs, 60,500 of them or 96 percent are in wholesale and retail trade.
Before we go to the next category, ask yourself if you believe that in an economy that has had no recovery, in which there are no new manufacturing or construction jobs, in which the labor force participation rate is down, in which shopping center parking lots are far from full, stores with such a poor sales outlook would hire so many people in July?
Financial activities account for 15,000 of the reported new jobs. The Federal Reserve accounted for 80 percent of these jobs and bill collectors for the rest.
Professional and business services accounted for 36,000 of the new reported jobs. About half of these jobs were temporary help services and services to buildings and dwellings.
Health care and social assistance accounted for 8,300 jobs of which ambulatory health care services comprised 80 percent.
Waitresses and bartenders contributed 38,400 jobs. I have previously noted the anomaly of a population without good employment prospects or rising incomes going out to eat and to drink more and more often, so often that waitresses and bartenders comprise each and every month a significant percentage of the new employees.
In her commissioner’s statement accompanying the jobs report, Erica Groshen acknowledges that 8,200,000 or 6 percent of the currently employed are “involuntary part-time workers” who cannot find full-time employment.
The July 2013 payroll employment level of 136,038,000 stands 2,018,000 below the employment level in January 2008, which was 5 years and 7 months ago. If it requires 130,000 new jobs each month to keep employment equal with population growth, the US economy is behind by 10,728,000 jobs. These missing jobs show up in the declining labor force participation rate and the large number of discouraged workers who are no longer counted as unemployed.
Obviously, there is no economic recovery, despite the reporting of such by the presstitute financial press. Most likely the US economy is sinking further into a depression. The numerous indicators of economic collapse are ignored by economists and financial media busy at work weaving the Matrix to support The Lie.
As former executives of the “banks too big to fail” and their proteges run the US Treasury, the financial regulatory agencies, and the Federal Reserve, US economic policy has been focused on bailing out the excessively large banks created by mindless deregulation. The purpose of US economic policy is to save the large banks from their bad bets on poorly understood new financial instruments in the gambling casino created by deregulation.
The architects of financial deregulation, such as former Senator Phil Gramm and President Bill Clinton were rewarded for their service with fortunes of their own. The free market dupes, who aided and abetted Bill and Phil and misrepresented the repeal of financial stability as a new beginning for laissez faire capitalism, still pretend that the crisis resulted from Congress requiring banks to make mortgage loans to poor black people who could not pay.
The lack of reality in America is extreme. I do not believe anything like it has ever existed in the modern world. Essentially, no one in government or out understands anything.
The combination of the power of vested interests with ideological thinking remote from empirical reality is destroying the US economy and the economic prospects of the American people. The employment profile of the US economy is increasingly that of a third world country. Economic security, except for the rich, has disappeared. A large and growing percentage of the population experiences the insecurity of poverty or near-poverty, while the waiting lists for $50 million yachts expands. The distribution of income is so skewed upward that people of enormous wealth bid up the prices of used Ferraris from the 1950s and 1960s to $12,000,000 and $35,000,000. I can remember when a used Ferrari was something that a person with a moderate income could afford to purchase. I have a friend who bought and sold for $9,000 in the 1960s the Ferrari that last sold for $35 million.
Detroit, once the fourth largest American city and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world, is bankrupt. The populations of the cities that once were America’s thriving manufacturing base are declining. Cleveland has boarded up homes. St. Louis has 20 percent of its homes vacant. Welfare is under attack by the Republicans and even some Democrats as the plight of the population worsens and despair rises.
Washington only responds to the half dozen powerful, rich private interest groups that fund election campaigns. The American people have no one to represent them. The American people have been placed outside the system of “democratic capitalism” which is only for the one percent.
As Jeffrey St. Clair has made clear, America no longer has a left-wing. America is a right-wing world in which people, including “progressives” have been brainwashed into perceiving reality in racial contrast: the whites are well off and the blacks are poor and destitute.
This is the false reality of the Matrix. As whites are a larger percentage of the population than blacks, there are more poor whites than poor blacks. Moreover, the percentage of poor whites is growing. The way the jobs-offshoring, bail out the rich, US economy operates today makes every one poor, including the remnants of America’s once flourishing middle class. It is not a racial issue. It is a class issue. A few people have the power, and they are driving everyone else into the ground. The US government is their agent.
So go wave the flag, support the troops, believe the government’s and media’s lies, but unless you are the well-connected one percent, don’t expect any future for your children. You have been sold out by “your” government. Obama is making pretty speeches, but only the stupid will be fooled.
Reprinted with permission from www.paulcraigroberts.org
About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
Perverse Incentives of the Welfare State
WASHINGTON – The ongoing economic slump has led to an unprecedented expansion of the segment of the US population receiving welfare assistance.
One reason for this, according to James Pethokoukis, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, is that the welfare system “creates some crazy disincentives to working your way up the ladder.
Benefits stacked upon benefits can mean it is financially better, at least in the short term, to stay at a lower-paying job rather than taking a higher paying job and losing those benefits. This is called the `welfare cliff.’”
To illustrate, a single mother who earns $29,000 can wind up with $57,327 in net income and benefits – but if she took a job paying $69,000, after taxes she would have net income and benefits of only $57,045.
Image credit: http://nextnewsnetwork.com
How Does America’s Middle Class Rank Globally? #27
Well, like so much of the “American dream” we have been force fed for a generation or more, this perception is not based in reality whatsoever. Sure it may have been the case for a couple of decades immediately after World War 2. Before the military-industrial-Wall Street complex fully took over the political process, but it certainly isn’t true any longer. Myths die hard and this one is particularly pernicious because it prevents people from changing things. As James Baldwin said:
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
From the Huffington Post:
America is the richest country on Earth. We have the most millionaires, the most billionaires and our wealthiest citizens have garnered more of the planet’s riches than any other group in the world. We even have hedge fund managers who make in one hour as much as the average family makes in 21 years!
This opulence is supposed to trickle down to the rest of us, improving the lives of everyday Americans. At least that’s what free-market cheerleaders repeatedly promise us.
Unfortunately, it’s a lie, one of the biggest ever perpetrated on the American people.
Our middle class is falling further and further behind in comparison to the rest of the world. We keep hearing that America is number one. Well, when it comes to middle-class wealth, we’re number 27.
The most telling comparative measurement is median wealth (per adult). It describes the amount of wealth accumulated by the person precisely in the middle of the wealth distribution — fifty percent of the adult population has more wealth, while fifty percent has less. You can’t get more middle than that.