Friday, January 27, 2012

The middle class and the American Dream.

President Barack Obama used an election-year State of the Union address Tuesday night to frame the national debate not as a referendum on him but as a pivotal decision on how to save the American dream
He boasted that the nation's economy has improved, albeit slowly, from the depths of the Great Recession. "The state of our union is getting stronger," he said.
But he said the middle class has been losing ground for decades, and he urged a new agenda of taxes and government spending to tilt the playing field away from the rich and powerful and more toward the rest of the citizenry.
Once, he said, Americans believed "the basic American promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college and put a little away for retirement. The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive.
.The middle class and the American Dream that created it are under attack as never before. But there is a real uprising sweeping the nation to save the middle class … only a citizens’ movement can save an American dream that grows ever more distant. In the face of a failed economy and a corrupted politics, the only hope for renewal is that citizens lead and politicians follow.
A new survey by Yahoo! Finance shows Americans have a disturbing lack of hope and a frightening lack of retirement planning.
Among the highlights of the poll:
-- 41% of Americans say the 'American Dream' has been lost.
-- 37% of adults have NO retirement savings and 38% plan to live off Social Security.
-- 63% of Americans believe the economy is getting worse, including 72% of those over the age of 55
These findings are consistent with broader trends The Daily Ticker has reported on in the past year: Despite macro data showing the economy has technically recovered from the 'Great Recession', the majority of Americans just aren't feeling it. Considering 49 million Americans are living in poverty, the "real" unemployment rate is 16% and millions of Americans are facing foreclosure, it's no wonder many believe the recession never ended.
Consistent with that sentiment, the survey shows a plurality of Americans are less willing to take on debt, feel less confident about buying at house, and are spending less yet have lower savings vs. 1- and 3-years ago.
Dan Gross and I discuss the survey in the accompanying video. As is his wont, Dan focused on the glass half-full findings in the survey, including:
-- 53% of Americans ages 18-34 still see America as the land of opportunity.
-- 45% of parents believe their kids will be better off than they are.
-- 68% of Americans say their currency financial situation is either "excellent" or "satisfactory."
Here too, the survey is consistent with trends we've reported on: In an era of rising income inequality, those doing well in America today are doing quite well, indeed.
Conducted in September, the survey polled 1500 Americans between the ages of 18 to 64. Yahoo! Finance partnered with Ipsos OTX MediaCT to conduct the survey. It's less scientific but, as always,The dream wasn't lost. It was stolen by the corrupt, greedy and inept politicians we continue to elect. Until we change the way this government is being run, our hopes for a better life are gone. Let's make sure these morons in Washington have some skin in the game.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Face off .

Don't point the finger at me Ma'am !
President Obama arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Arizona yesterday and was met by one unhappy person: the state's Republican governor, Jan Brewer, the Arizona Republic reports. In what was described as an animated discussion, Brewer and Obama went head-to-head over her book, Scorpions for Breakfast.
They were both talking over each other at various points when Brewer pointed her finger in the president's face. He then walked away in what appeared to be the middle of their conversation. The White House said that during the encounter, Obama said he was looking forward to continuing to help the state's economy grow, but he felt that in her book, she'd given an inaccurate depiction of her previous meeting with him in the Oval Office.Here what funny is Obama is the President and not the King and this chick is a Governor of a states and she not a Federal appointee and her state has a immigration problem the federal government will not take care of. But black so care about Obama and how he is treated but there are 7 million illegals working in the country and in the last 20 year there has been 20 million illegals have come to the country and 20 years before that was another 20 million as Reagan gave amnesty in the 1980's.

Blacks have been most affected by the cheap labor these workers that hide in this society and don't have the cost incurred as American workers to employers. But blacks put up against people who don't have the same rights as a citizen, and cannot go to complain somewhere, and will work all hours under any condition because they are here illegally, yet American workers are called lazy because they will not work under the same condition and without benefit and some protect under the law so fingers, arms and legs remains with the worker and not in some piece of machinery.

So this chick put her finger in Obama face while he got his foot up our azz, it hard for me to get angered when Obama want to cut a deal with the banks for pennies on the dollar, as even the VP Biden son who is the Attorney Gen of Delaware and does not support the deal Obama want to do, because the deal does not prosecute anybody or pay enough to fix the wrongs that occurred with the making of loans, servicing and securitization of loans.

The finger pointing should be in Obama's face about people losing their homes because they were sold bs or either they were effected by the widespread jobs losses caused by the bad lending. However Obama's solution is to give the average home owner that has a bad loan $2,000 dollar, as the amount is in reference to what? A lost $150,000 home, or a mortgage rate that has adjusted to 16% and will remain there until the loan is paid off does not sound like that great of a deal when the difference between a 10% rate and 4% rate of today is $216,000 more over the course of 30 years, while Obama offering $2,000 only 1% of what people are being cheated out of. The Chick got the wrong finger pointed!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

State of the Union is of debate.

 The state of the UNION is a matter of Debate .
In the key swing state of Florida, Mitt Romney would be a stronger candidate than Newt Gingrich against President Obama in the general election, according to a new Suffolk University/7NEWS(WSVN-Miami) poll of Florida voters.
The former Massachusetts governor leads Mr. Obama among likely Florida voters 47 percent to 42 percent, which is just outside the 4 percent margin of error. Gingrich didn't fare nearly so well. Florida voters would choose Mr. Obama over the former House Speaker by 9 percentage points
Gingrich's challenges are event greater with independent voters. Only 19 percent of Florida independents had a favorable view of the former House speaker, and independents would favor Mr. Obama over Gingrich 56 percent to 29 percent.
"Newt Gingrich is weak among Florida independents and likely Democratic voters compared to Romney," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. "If Florida is one of six key states that swings the national election, independents in Florida hold that key, and this poll suggests that Newt won't be able to secure Florida for his party."
Romney fared much better with independents, with 44 percent of Florida independents having a favorable view of him. One-fifth of voters in Florida are registered as independent.
President Obama continues to battle high unemployment and frosty relations with Congress just as Americans begin to weigh whether to give him a second term. But he made the case that the nation has made progress on several fronts under his stewardship. Here's a look behind the rhetoric:But many of his proposals amounted to a reprise of past administration pledges, such as a long-standing Interior Department commitment to permit 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy projects on public land this year.
President Barack Obama called economic fairness “the defining issue of our time” in his State of the Union address Tuesday, casting himself as a defender of middle-class Americans and setting the agenda for his reelection campaign.
“It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts and no cop-outs. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody,” Obama told a joint session of Congress. “Let’s never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that does the same.”Mr. Obama would seem to have the advantage in this fight: A CBS News/New York Times poll out Tuesday found that 55 percent of Americans think upper-income taxpayers pay less than their fair share. And in the wake of the emergence of the "Occupy" movement, a Pew survey earlier this month found that two in three Americans now see a strong conflict between rich and poor. Even the two leading Republican presidential candidates, Romney and Newt Gingrich, have gotten into a fight over whether Romney's former company Bain Capital engages in heartless capitalism that rewards the rich while leaving average Americans behind.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What's Next. Newt, Romney & California.

American politics is going to take a twisted ride soon . With the GOP debates smacking down . There is going to be two who might face Obama . And one of them win or lose the White House. Honestly paying attention to the debates is turning me off . I find that the contenders attack each other in various vicious was . I jumped for joy when Newt in the last debate rose to the occasion to challenge the question of his marital infidelity when it was tossed at him . Newt's ex -wife accuses the former speaker of trying to live in an open marriage . The accusations  are serious enough for a laugh , since Americans who have voted for far worse in the past as far as elected officials with two or three exes . In the Past US Presidents have had mistresses , and prostitutes  as I have read  my history . The hypocritical media digs its claws in drawing on the moral crusade . Meanwhile Gingrich's win recasts a race Romney seemed to be dominating just one week ago, when he had been declared the winner of the first two contests and was leading the polls in South Carolina. The past week has been one of the worst of Romney's campaign: He stumbled in the debates, at one point receiving a smattering of boos for equivocating over how many years of his tax returns he would release, and was stripped of his Iowa win after a recount. Romney, whose net worth is estimated at up to a quarter of a billion dollars, also acknowledged that his effective federal income tax rate is roughly 15 percent, lower than the rate paid by most Americans.


Gov. Jerry Brown gave his state of the state speech . He's urging us on to accept his tax hikes  , and he wants a go ahead with the light rail .Republicans who last year blocked a similar effort by Brown in which he asked the Legislature to put taxes before voters, said they remain deeply critical of his approach, which calls for $5.4 billion in cuts, mostly to schools, if voters reject the taxes. They said California’s economy is already improving, and with tax receipts rebounding, the state can avoid such tax increases..Brown’s proposal aims to raise income taxes on individuals who make $250,000 a year or more and boost the state sales tax by half a cent. The governor also said the state needs massive investments in mega-projects such as renewable energy, education, high-speed rail and water — all of which are exceedingly expensive.The governor's call for immediate action on high-speed rail, and for the Legislature to authorize $2.7 billion in bond funding that would be matched by about $3.5 billion in federal funding to build the first phase in the Central Valley, probably will meet strong opposition from Republicans and may even receive pushback from Democrats who are growing increasingly skeptical of the project.The estimated cost of the bullet train has ballooned to nearly $100 billion. Earlier this month, a peer-review group appointed by the Legislature to give advice on the project criticized it has having inadequate funding and as lacking a definitive business plan. The group advised lawmakers against spending the money.


In my last couple of postings I was accused of  promoting Mitt Romney. Sure enough I knew how rich he is , and have said that ONLY THE RICH seem to afford to run . However Obama is no better , he may not be as wealthy as Romney , but sure Obama is rich enough that he was able to climb the ladder to the seat of a senator .  Regarding my state California . I am not voting for NEW TAXES , and I am sorry . We are taxed and taxed and the state has tried this before with Gov. Davis before the "recall" .If CA is broke, where did we get the money for illegal immigrant Cal Grants?Gov. Jerry Brown took ownership of California's controversial high-speed-rail project on Wednesday in his State of the State speech, forcefully defending the plan that has received blistering bipartisan criticism in...To compare the high speed rail with the Panama Canal and Bart is ridiculous.Think for a minute, If the rail idea was such a great idea and investment why wouldn't someone like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison or Donald Trump build it and make a fortune on it.The reason they don't is because it will not be a profitable venture and it will be another boondoggle that ends up costing the taxpayers billions while providing poor and useless service.Brown is hot on the idea because he has the business acumen of a pea and is simply doing what the union cronies tell him to do.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Persecuted Minorities shall lead......

Three men here have something in common in American Politics . They are all minorities !  Black , White (Mormon )  and Native American .
Since the election of Barak Obama an Illinois  African- American man with an obscure multicultural  heritage was elected by a majority of whites . The idea of the minorities gaining ground in politics , and positions of leadership may have reached its apex . WE have the first African - American President .  I was worried since Obama was elected that racist elements would march , protest . I feared the KKK , and NEO- NAZIS in full gear . Instead we had vary little from the David Dukes  types . We had a  mouthful of conspiracies from the anti- Obama right . Hardly a whimper . So this posting I write is about the persecuted minorities who will gain the PRESIDENCY .The first African-American anything is guaranteed at least a nod. You don’t even have to be first to get “first” treatment. The last two Supreme Court nominees have been women, joining a court that had already seated two women (one retired). Nevertheless, the femininity of the candidates was cheerily chatted up. When Barack Obama became the first black nominee of a major party and then the elected president, dignified notice of an historical milestone would have been appropriate. But you know what happened — the media went on an inebriated, extravagant first binge. Obama as first African - American has a lot at stake , his popularity is down , and his poll ratings show a great dissatisfaction with what he has done . His challenge is now with all probability to face Mitt Romney . Whom is a member of a religious sect that is not considered by the conservative ultra-right Bible belt as being 'Christian' . The MORMONS are Christian to the letter of the word . Yet I was fathoming a few days ago that with the election of Obama it seems to me that America got a wake up call . In other words , the first Black Man in the white house was a insult to the white purists . Africans who no fault of their own were sold into slavery , and later freed after a bloody civil war . Met years with persecution . Until Martin Luther King paved the way for civil rights . Yes in deed America has been slow on human rights issues . Now lets open our eyes If Mitt Romney is nominated and elected, he will be the first member of a highly persecuted American minority group to be so honored. Yet no one is celebrating the possibility of the first Mormon president.. Right now the DIVIDED GOP is scrambling to cater to the Southern Baptists . Rick Perry ,"Rick" Santorum and NEWT are finally calling themselves ' Christians' and paying lip to the Religious right. I enjoy the hypocrisy when politicians bow low to gain high using the Christian right . The anti- Mormon fling among the GOP could shoot them . For one thing the Mormons were a greatly persecuted ' minority' almost 200 years ago . in the 1830's and 1840's most state governors issued orders to 'exterminate Mormons' . Basically massacring men . women and children on order from the USA government. Oddly enough the Mormons are the most Pro- Americans you can find . What next ? I strongly  hope that Americans will elect Mitt Romney as much as they elected Barak Obama . Both men have things  in common . Get me it's OK if Obama wins if you consider how voter anger put him in the Oval Office . If Romney wins it's fine too . It just means that Americans have risen above their bigotry , and soon in the future we would have a  ****American - Indian for President . & most of all a 'Woman' President as well . America has a long ways to go still . Adieu!

**** WE have to remember that Black's suffered genocide and slavery . Native - Americans (Indians ) also faced extermination orders like the Mormons . The Presidency is now open to others , of whatever race as long as it remains for citizens to run .  Time will tell , we've tried to elect a woman to office three times in US History . Women in office is a hard thing to sell if you look at Sarah Palin 's attempts to buy voter approval .

Monday, January 9, 2012

8.5 % or 12 % ???

 Something is rotten at the BLS; this isn’t "Morning in America".
I have seen liberals crowing about the great economic news: unemployment hit 8.5%! Obama is a genius! Stimulus is working! 4 more years, yada yada. This is all a big bunch of crap.
Take a look at the actual data, people:
This shows the labor breakdown by age in 2010 This shows the labor breakdown by age in 2011
Biggest thing that is really, really off about these numbers: if you compare both years, even though we’ve gained (net) working-age population of 2.754 million (240.584 million in 2011 – 237.830 million in 2010)…the actual number of people in the labor force…DROPPED. That’s right, you’d think that if after over 2.5 million people entered the workforce, we would have the amount of our labor force increase, but it didn’t. It actually dropped by about 500,000.
Let me explain some terminology from these: civilian noninstitutional population is basically everyone over the age of 16; so this should everyone that can be employed. So in 2010, this number was 237 million.
Of that, 154 million is the "labor force". This is actually calculated by subtracting everyone "not in the labor force" from the working population; so for 2010 you take 237 million – 83.941 million (not in labor force) to get 153.889 million; that was our "civilian labor force" in 2010. People "not in the labor force", according to the BLS (here), are people that are non-military, not in a jail/mental home/old age home, as well as those not looking for a job for whatever reason. Could be they are frustrated, went back to school, retired, etc.
So out of 237 million people in 2010, 83.941 million are not even counted in the labor force. They aren’t counted as unemployed at all, even if they are in fact out of work. They just have to answer "I don’t want a job". Note that even if they have NO job, if they say "I don’t want a job", or not looking for a job in the last 12 months, they are NOT considered as unemployed! They are considered "not in labor force", and aren’t counted as part of the unemployment rate. This is the big deception.
And the big problem? From 2010 to 2010, 3.2 MILLION people were added to those "not in the labor force", so now it stands at 87.2 million. Why were all these people added? Well, they aren’t what you might think: a large influx of workers retiring. Only about 1 million people retired last year and collected SS. You can check here and compare Dec 2010 with Dec 2011.
And in fact, if you look at the BLS data from 2010 to 2011, you’ll see that the % of workers over 65 in the labor force actually INCREASED. What happened is that lots and lots of YOUNG WORKERS just decided to drop out of the labor force completely, and that’s where all these "labor drop outs" came from. The numbers: Ages 16-19, went from 65% "not in labor force" in 2010 to 68% in 2011. Ages 25-54, went from 17.8% in 2010 to 18.4% in 2011 Ages 55-64, went from 35% in 2010 to 36% in 2011 Ages 65+, went from 82.6% in 2010 to 81.7% in 2011. So it’s not more seniors retiring early that’s causing this huge jump in "not in labor force", they are retiring later!
These people didn’t retire at age 19 or 35; they simply dropped out of the labor market and are not on unemployment (and not employed). And that is the reason why the unemployment % fell, they simply aren’t counting millions of people as unemployed anymore. Doesn’t it seem strange that Obama would crow about these numbers, when he KNOWS that the real reason the unemployment % fell was not because there are more jobs, but because millions simply aren’t counted as unemployed? What is he trying to pull?
The number "not in labor force" is really high right now, it stands at 36.25%; this means those "in the labor force" is 63.75% (they add up to 100%). If you look at recent history you will see that that last time the % of labor force was as low as it is now….was 1979! That’s right, it’s been around 64-66% for over 30 years…until now. During recession of 1992, 2001, etc. it NEVER dipped below 66%. Why now?
So yes, the more people drop out and don’t even bother looking for a job, the more people are in the "not in labor force", and the BLS will keep dropping the unemployment rate! Clearly having so few people as a % in the labor market should be a worrying sign to everyone, as people are dropping out of the labor market across all age groups.
According to the BLS, we’ve added about 1.6 million jobs in 2011. That would be ok, except that again we added about 2.5 million people to the workforce in 2011.
In fact, if you look at the number of unemployed from the BLS, we still have more unemployed than when Obama took office, over 13 million. What’s probably happening is that because the economy is still weak, and the job market slow to hire, many people are simply unable to keep looking for work for YEARS now and are dropping out, potentially never to return. Their skills will atrophy, their attitude toward working souring for years, and then when they return they will be older with a huge gap in the resume. Over 13 MILLION people are still unemployed.
The fact of the matter is that there is no reason why the unemployment should be falling at all, given that we didn’t add enough jobs (1.6 million) to cover our population growth (2.5 million). If we didn’t add enough jobs to cover population growth in 2011, why would the unemployment rate go DOWN? It should have gone UP this year. It’s only because so many people have given up, and the amount in the "labor force" decreased by so much. If these people did not drop out, and in fact the labor force was actually 65.9%, the historical average the last 30 years, with the same # of employed as we have now: The labor force would be 158.5 million The # of unemployed would be 17.8 million (!) The unemployment rate would be…11.2%.
11.2% unemployment, that is simply if the labor force % was the same as it has been the past 30 years.
If the labor force % was 66.5%, which is what the labor force % has been on average since 1990 (never falling below 66%), with the same number of employed as we have now: The labor force would be 159.9 million The # of unemployed would be 19.3 million (!) The unemployment rate would be…12.0%.
This is not some idle speculation. Remember people, there are 87 million(!) people that are "not in labor force", while in 2008 there were only 79 million (see here). As a %, 34% were "not in labor force" in 2008, now it’s 36.25%. Doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but that extra 2.25% adds up to MILLIONS more people that have simply given up, AND aren’t counted as unemployed.
So the REAL unemployment rate of 12% actually makes more sense. There are 13 million "unemployed" (in the traditional sense of the BLS), and there are another 6 million (out of the 87 million "not in labor force") that really SHOULD be counted as unemployed. This doesn’t even count those "underemployed", working part-time when they want full-time; that would include MILLIONS more. The BLS happily reports the lower unemployment numbers of 8.5% to make their boss (Obama) look better; who would want to report the REAL unemployment rate, 12%?
So, still think it’s a "solid job market"?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Iowa Caucus winner is........................

 After the Results came in , Ron Paul is in 3rd place . Paul's speech had nothing negative to spout , but he may have said it right.
Well as the story goes Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann has ended her presidential campaign, after finishing at the back of the field in Iowa's caucuses. ... I was getting a bit annoyed with some of the rhetoric from this woman . I though at one time that she was much more intelligent than Sarah Palin , yet her constant attacks on Obama  may have driven some Iowans to dislike her, not that the Iowans are embracing  Obama , but the fact is that Bachmann 's constant fear mongering has turned people off ....OK we know about Obama , yep he's a socialist , or progressive , whatever you want to call him.  My point is lets get the country fixed . Let's get the two parties working and getting the job done for the American People Where does Ron Paul go from here? The Texas libertarian didn’t win the Iowa caucuses, of course – he finished third, just behind winner Mitt Romney and virtual co-winner Rick Santorum.But as the old pundit line goes, there are three tickets out of the Hawkeye State – and Representative Paul got one of them. So he’ll continue to ride his anti-intervention, pro-drug legalization, Fed-bashing campaign as long as his money and volunteers hold out. There are accusations that Ron Paul is a racist ? I think that most of the Republican have been biased toward Obama, biggest setback to hit Ron Paul's candidacy for president: publicity about racially charged statements and other controversial comments in newsletters published in Mr. Paul's name in the 1980s and 1990s.. Either case some of Santorum's remarks are hardly an example . The race card will always haunt these politicians anyhow.

Here is some of Ron Paul's Ideas. In this speech Ron Paul calls for:
  • Obeying the Constitution
  • Ending the Federal Reserve
  • A return to the gold standard
  • Limited government
  • Freedom
  • Getting out of endless wars around the world. Getting out of endless wars around the world . That one I am for , I can't stand it  when the country spends so many  billions on war , and can't no longer take care of it self. I am no wiser now , but Paul seems to glide through this with me , but I am no liberal.

“I wouldn’t dismiss his third-place showing. It was impressive. This is a candidate who has wandered around in single digits for years,” said veteran Iowa politics watcher David Yepsen, referring to the 76-year-old politician’s previous attempts at the GOP nomination.

“He’s on to something here,” Yepsen said, referencing the angst many Americans feel over a devastated economy and more than a decade of war in the Middle East.

Yepsen assessed that what Paul represents “doesn’t win, but it does have an impact on the dialogue of the campaigns.”

Paul’s views include a strong isolationist approach to international affairs, which would see American troops brought home from Afghanistan, the end of foreign aid to countries including Israel and the removal of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, a policy that he sees as interfering with free markets.
“The Republican party will have to undergo a massive transformation to adapt to Paul’s policies, and it’s simply not going to happen,” said University of Virginia political expert Larry Sabato.

Sabato judged that Paul’s 21% in Iowa was a ceiling – as he was likely to fare worse in many other states – in part because his foreign policy positions alienate so many Republican voters. That’s one of the chief reasons Paul hasn’t been seen as a possible winner of the GOP nomination, as well as polling in just the low single digits nationally, though he has been doing better in New Hampshire.

But Republicans acknowledge that their party is in some flux, with Iowa voters splitting almost evenly between the libertarian Paul, the pragmatic former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and the social conservative Rick Santorum, formerly a senator from Pennsylvania.