Archive for the ‘Chart’ Category

Links 12-06-2013

By: admin
Published: December 6th, 2013

Is Nelson Mandela a role model or criminal?

“Saint” Mandela? Not So Fast!

For the past three decades, Nelson Mandela has been swathed in global media adulation unlike any other human being in history. No pope, president, king, war hero, movie star, or rock star can boast of having been the beneficiary of such undiluted, unalloyed, and unbroken acclaim. It is common for totalitarian dictators to employ their state-controlled media to create a worshipful cult of personality about themselves — Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Fidel Castro, Kim Il-sung — but outside of their countries there are usually journalists and media organs that will report their crimes, failings, and misdeeds. Mandela has not had to worry about dirty laundry; he is the first individual to achieve a near-universal cult of personality on the global level, thanks entirely to the unparalleled glorification campaign bestowed upon him by the major media in the United States and Europe.

What Does It Take To Be Middle Class?

By standards of previous generations, the middle class has been stripmined of income, assets and purchasing power.

What does it take to be middle class nowadays? A recent paper, The Distribution of Household Income and the Middle Class, used Census data to discuss what sort of income it takes to qualify as middle class, but reached no firm conclusion: people tend to self-report that they belong to the middle class based on income, but income is not the only the metric–indeed, it can be argued that 12 other factors are more telling measures of middle class membership than income.

In Why the Middle Class Is Doomed (April 17, 2012) I listed five “threshold” characteristics of membership in the middle class:

1. Meaningful healthcare insurance

2. Significant equity (25%-50%) in a home or other real estate

3. Income/expenses that enable the household to save at least 6% of its income

4. Significant retirement funds: 401Ks, IRAs, etc.

5. The ability to service all debt and expenses over the medium-term if one of the primary household wage-earners lose their job

I then added a taken-for-granted sixth:….

Professor Laurence Kotlikoff- Fed Printing 29 Cents of Every Dollar Uncle Sam Spends

The Minimum Wage Used To Be Enough To Keep Workers Out Of Poverty—It’s Not Anymore

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‘Just-in-time’ staffing at H&M frustrates retail worker

An Ottawa woman is calling out retailer H&M for their practice of hiring “just-in-time” employees; workers who are asked to be available for work, but with little notice of when they might be working.

Michelle Linthorne, 19, says she was recently hired by H&M at theBayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa and considered it a dream job.

But she says she only worked two shifts and didn’t know until 7:30 in the morning if they’ll need her that day.

“So far they’ve put me on on-call shifts and told me that there is pretty much no way that I’m going to get called in, but I still need to be available for them,” saidLinthorne.

Getting called in on short notice isn’t new for part-time or casual workers, but Canadian Labour Congress executive vice-president Barb Byers said keeping part-time employees in a sort of on-call limbo is a regular complaint right across Canada in the retail sector.

Low bank wages costing the public millions, report says

Almost a third of the country’s half-million bank tellers rely on some form of public assistance to get by, according to a report due out Wednesday.

Researchers say taxpayers are doling out nearly $900 million a year to supplement the wages of bank tellers, which amounts to a public subsidy for multibillion-dollar banks. The workers collect $105 million in food stamps, $250 million through the earned income tax credit and $534 million by way of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to the University of California at Berkeley’s Labor Center.

Challenging the myths of deflation in Europe

INFLATION has dropped to less than one per cent in the European Union after years of moderate increases in prices of two to five per cent. But this apparent good news is creating concerns writes Professor Enrico Colombatto.

Inflation is now down to 0.9 per cent in the EU area and to 0.7 per cent in the euro area. This should be good news as ensuring price stability is the job of central bankers. They should be doing their best to bring inflation even closer to zero.

But Europe’s central bankers have made it clear that they do not want zero inflation and are worried by the prospect of a generalised decrease in prices – deflation.

So why is deflation a problem?

Help-Wanted Ad Shows Depths Of Spain’s Unemployment Problem

Having trouble wrapping your head around southern Europe’s staggering unemployment problem?

Look no further than a single Ikea furniture store on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

The Swedish retailer plans to open a new megastore next summer near Valencia. On Monday, Ikea’s Spanish website started taking applications for 400 jobs at the new store.

The company wasn’t prepared for what came next.

Within 48 hours, more than 20,000 people had applied online for those 400 jobs. The volume crashed Ikea’s computer servers in Spain.

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Casey Mulligan: How ObamaCare Wrecks the Work Ethic

By: admin
Published: October 4th, 2013

From WSJ

Mr. Mulligan is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and the author of “The Redistribution Recession” (Oxford, 2012).

The health-care law, starting Jan. 1, will begin driving up marginal tax rates—well above 50% for many.

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A new wave of redistribution will arrive in America on Jan. 1, primarily thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The president’s health-insurance plan forces those who hire, work and produce to pay full price for health care, while creating generous discounts for practically everyone else.

…In the years 2015 and beyond, full-time workers with median incomes will keep only half of the compensation created by their decisions, with the other half going to the government in the form of additional taxes and savings on subsidy payments. By keeping 50% rather than 60%, workers will find that the reward for holding a job will have fallen a damaging 17%

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Links 09-24-2013

By: admin
Published: September 24th, 2013

Why the commercial real estate crash never came

After the housing market collapsed, many economists predicted a similar fate for commercial real estate. Here’s why it never happened.

Congress Writes the Recipe for Another Housing Crisis

The federal government wants to support the goal of home ownership. But that goal will not be achieved if government subsidies lead home purchasers to default more on their mortgages. So a second goal is to minimize the defaults on home mortgages.

Why the Poor Don’t Work, According to the Poor

Few say it’s because they can’t find jobs. But is that a reason to take away their food stamps?

American Dependency: A Food Stamp Micro-Doc – MUST WATCH VIDEO! (first 10 min)

Undocumented LA County Parents On Pace To Receive $650M In Welfare Benefits

A projected $650 million in welfare benefits will be distributed to illegal alien parents in 2013, county officials said Monday.

Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich announced the latest figures from the Department of Public Social Services, which showed more than $376 million in CalWORKs benefits and food stamps combined have been distributed through July to illegal alien parents for their native-born children.

Economic Malpractice

It’s amazing how little President Obama has learned about economics in his four and a half years in the White House. Growth, incentives, tax reform, tax increases, private investment, the middle class, a second great depression, the sequester—all these issues have one thing in common: Obama doesn’t understand their role in our economy. Nor does he appear interested in finding out.

‘Family glitch’ in health law could be painful

Congress defined “affordable” as 9.5% or less of an employee’s household income, mostly to make sure people did not leave their workplace plans for subsidized coverage through the exchanges. But the “error” was that it only applies to the employee — and not his or her family. So, if an employer offers a woman affordable insurance, but doesn’t provide it for her family, they cannot get subsidized help through the state health exchanges.

That can make a huge difference; the Kaiser Family Foundation said an average plan for an individual is about $5,600, but it goes up to $15,700 for families. Most employers help out with those costs, but not all.

Rand Paul wants Chief Justice Roberts, all federal workers, to enroll in Obamacare

Arguing federal workers should not get special treatment, Rand Paul says he does not want taxpayers subsidizing the personal health-care plans of any federal employee — including Chief Justice John Roberts — anymore.

Americans’ Belief That Gov’t Is Too Powerful at Record Level

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US civil war is coming  – Its a month old video but worth watching. Original HD video here

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Is That College Degree Worth It?…

By: admin
Published: June 25th, 2013

There is a new study by the Georgetown University 

In the past, a college degree all but assured job seekers employment and high earnings, but today, what you make depends on what you take. In Hard Times 2013, we show differences in unemployment and earnings based on major for BA and graduate degree holders. We show that STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — majors typically offer the best opportunities for employment and earnings, while unemployment is higher for graduates with non-technical degrees. 

Here are some of our major findings:

1. Even as the housing bubble seems to be dissipating, unemployment rates for recent architecture graduates have remained high (12.8%). Graduate degrees and work experience did not shield these graduates from a sector-specific shock; graduates with experience in the field have the same jobless rates as the economy overall (9.3%)

2. Unemployment is generally higher for non-technical majors, such as the arts (9.8%) or law and public policy (9.2%).

3. People who make technology are still better off than people who use technology. Unemployment rates for recent graduates in information systems, concentrated in clerical functions, is high (14.7%) compared with mathematics (5.9%) and computer science (8.7%).

4. Unemployment rates are relatively low for recent graduates in education (5.0%), engineering (7.0%), health and the sciences (4.8%) because they are tied to stable or growing industry sectors and occupations. 

5. Graduates in psychology and social work also have relatively low rates (8.8%) because almost half of them work in healthcare or education sectors. 

Slide presentation  after the jump….

Earnings by degree

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More on this topic (What's this?)
Declining Participation Rate A Function Of A Weak Labor Market
Government Regulations and Unemployment
7.8% Unemployment Number Conspiracy?
Veterans Day Observation
Read more on Unemployment (U.S.) at Wikinvest

The horror…

By: admin
Published: March 10th, 2013

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Links 12-17-12

By: admin
Published: December 17th, 2012

Putting Gun Violence into Proper Perspective

Homicides vs. Gun Ownership

 The comparison between “countries” is somewhat arbitrary. The population range for the countries in this set spans two orders of magnitude: millions to hundreds of millions. Their ethnicities, geographies and densities are different as well. We must be careful in drawing conclusions when comparing small, relatively homogeneous countries such as Finland against a population with the size and heterogeneity of the US

Libor scandal grows as the fathers of two mass murderers were to testify – WTH? Both fathers of the shooters were allegedly expected to testify in the Libor scandal that rocked the banking world in June.

The father of Newtown Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza is Peter Lanza who is a VP and Tax Director at GE Financial. The father of Aurora Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes is Robert Holmes, the lead scientist for the credit score company FICO. Both men were to testify before the US Sentate in the ongoing LIBOR scandal. The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other. 16 international banks have been implicated in this ongoing scandal, accused of rigging contracts worth trillions of dollars. HSBC has already been fined $1.9 billion and three of their low level traders arrested.

The hysterical economy

A ‘self-fulfilling recession’ is a long-established idea in economics. This column argues that the US’s economic malaise continues to be caused by leaders’ hysteria rather than by actual engrained economic problems. Obama and Congress need to stop scaring the nation about the ‘fiscal cliff’ because, ultimately, they are coordinating expectations on there being a recession. Tackling the right policies now, and sending out the right message, will help more than hysteria

What about food inflation, Bernanke?

The Federal Reserve wants to prioritize jobs over inflation. How will Americans feel about that when they’re paying more for groceries next year?

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Links 12-14-12

By: admin
Published: December 14th, 2012

Herring weather to land in Kolgrafafirði

Eye witnesses say that the amount of dead herring is now believed to be at least several hundred tons reported from this site Skessuhorn.

US, UK and Canada refuse to sign UN’s internet treaty

The US, Canada and UK have refused to sign an international communications treaty at a conference in Dubai.

Marc Faber: “Paul Krugman Should Go And Live In North Korea”

 Obama’s America Will Become Detroit

What happened to Detroit? It is achieving socialism in one city.

The Census Bureau estimates there are 563,055 people age 16 or older in the city who could potentially work and be part of the labor force. But only 54.3 percent of these — or 305,479 individuals — actually do participate in the labor force, meaning they either have a job or are looking for one.
Another 257,576 of Detroit residents age 16 or older — 45.7 percent of that demographic — do not participate in the labor force. They do not have a job, and they are not looking for one.

In fact, these 257,576 people in Detroit who do not have a job and are not looking for one outnumber the 224,846 residents who do have jobs. But of the 224,846 residents who do have jobs, 34,500 — or 15.3 percent — have jobs with the government. Thus, this city that boasted 1,849,568 residents in 1950 has only 190,346 private-sector workers today.

There are 264,209 households in Detroit, and 91,204 of them — or 34.5 percent — get food stamps.

Unemployed single mother on benefits who spends £2,000 on Christmas with 20 presents for each of her children 

  • Leanna Broderick plans to give children designer outfits, iPads and jewellery
  • The 20-year-old has never worked and claims nearly £15,500 a year 
  • Claims she is better off on benefits and last year saved £2,500
  • Said there was ‘no point’ getting minimum wage job and paying for childcare

Small businesses: Obama worse than Lehman collapse

Do small-business owners really fear that the re-election of President Barack Obama is worse for their businesses than the collapse of Lehman Brothers?A survey released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business suggested as much. Not only did small-business sentiment plunge, but the net percentage of owners expecting better business conditions in six months fell 37 points.

Taxes Are Much Higher Than You Think

President Obama argues that the election gave him a mandate to raise taxes on high earners, and the White House indicates that he won’t compromise on this issue as the so-called fiscal cliff approaches.

But tax rates are already high—much higher than is commonly understood—and increasing them will likely further depress the economy, especially by affecting the number of hours Americans work.

Taking into account all taxes on earnings and consumer spending—including federal, state and local income taxes, Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, excise taxes, and state and local sales taxes—Edward Prescott has shown (especially in the Quarterly Review of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 2004) that the U.S. average marginal effective tax rate is around 40%.

Government Gone Bad

It’s one reason America has been unusually slow to recover from the Great Recession. After previous recessions, employers quickly resumed hiring. Not this time. The unemployment rate is still near 8 percent. It only fell last month because people stopped looking for jobs.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute understands what’s happening.

“Add up all the regulations and red tape, all the government spending, all the tax increases we’re about to get — you can understand why entrepreneurs think: “Maybe I don’t want to hire people. … I want to keep my company small. I don’t want to give health insurance, because then I’m stuck with all the Obamacare mandates.” We can see our future in Europe — unless we change. Ann Jolis, who covers European labor issues for The Wall Street Journal, watches how government-imposed work rules sabotage economies.

“The minimum guaranteed annual vacation in Europe is 20 days paid vacation a year. … In France, it starts at 25 guaranteed days off. … This summer, the European Court of Justice … gave workers the right to a vacation do-over. … You spend the last eight days of your vacation laid up with a sprained ankle … eight days automatically go into your sick leave. … You get a vacation do-over.”

U.S. Small-Business Owners Pull Back Capital Spending Plans

Net capital spending over the past 12 months declined to -22, down from -11 in July

When Will Expected Inflation Hit 2.5%?

Just when most people were getting used to the idea of QE3, yesterday the Fed announced QE4. When will the madness stop?  In the Fed’s latest announcement it mentioned the “projected” inflation rate.  This article will take a look at the TIPS expected inflation indicator to determine how long the Fed can remain accommodative under the new guidelines.

Don’t Cave GOP, This Time Deficits DO Matter

Do deficits matter? Conservatives have sometimes claimed that they don’t. Dick Cheney has said on more than one occasion that, “Reagan taught us that deficits don’t matter.” In fact, he said that to me personally once.

Supply-siders like me have often downplayed the importance of deficits, arguing as George Gilder and Jack Kemp argued in the 1980s that we can ‘grow our way out of it’. But we can only grow our way out of it if we actually grow. And if wedon’t grow, there comes a time when debt grows to the point where it really is unsustainable.

‘Obama’s “Plan” Adds $8.6 Trillion to the Debt’

Aetna CEO: Obamacare Likely to Double Small Business, Individual Insurance Premiums

Health insurance premiums may as much as double for some small businesses and individual buyers in the U.S. when the Affordable Care Act’s major provisions start in 2014, Aetna Inc.’s chief executive officer said.

 This is out of hand now: Apple attempts to trademark the LEAF

Presumably next it will be blank space around the logo

$822,000 Worker Shows California Leads U.S. Pay Giveaway

Nine years ago, California Democrat Gray Davis became the first U.S. governor in 82 years to be recalled by voters. The state’s 20 million taxpayers still bear the cost of his four years and 10 months on the job.

Davis escalated salaries and benefits for 164,000 state workers, including a 34 percent raise for prison guards, the first of a series of steps in which he and successors saddled California with a legacy of dysfunction. Today, the state’s highest-paid employees make far more than comparable workers elsewhere in almost all job and wage categories, from public safety to health care, base pay to overtime.

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