unemployment

Congressional Scrooges Deny Unemployment Benefit Extension

The latest budget deal does not extend unemployment benefits for some of the long term unemployed.   This means without some Congressional action, unemployment benefits will only be available for 26 weeks in 2014.  The current average time to be officially unemployed is 37.2 weeks, far exceeding the time one can receive regular unemployment insurance benefits in most states.

Jobless Benefits DO NOT Cause Unemployment

The Wall Street Journal's headline asks, "Are Jobless Benefits Leading to Higher Unemployment?"  But in the very first paragraph in their story they answer their own question with A new paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston suggests the answer is no -- or at least not much.   So then, why does the WSJ ask? Why not just use the headline of this post?

Outrageous Economic Shorts - There Is No STEM Worker Shortage

Once again our daily barrage of economic injustice news is overwhelming.  From lobbyist lies to interest rate swap rigging to killing workers by the hundreds to our best and brightest working jobs flipping burgers, here are some quick economic news shorts that you don't want to miss.

 

The Corporations versus the American People Battleground is the Fiscal Cliff

corporate politiciansWe have lobbyists controlling the fiscal cliff debate and the messaging:

By posing as populists hostile to “government social engineering,” the Right succeeded in duping large numbers of middle-class Americans into seeing their own interests – and their “freedom” – as in line with corporate titans.

Corporations are literally posing as grassroots activists with media appearances, twitter accounts, social media, major articles and dedicated websites, all in an effort to hoodwink the American people into signing onto having their social security cut along with their health benefits.

Pundits and Lobbyists all make huge riches ranting and prattling on how someone is stealing food stamps or how Grandma should have her social security benefits cut and denied health care. Corporate controlled financial press puts biased choices for their 1% audience. Those still ethical and objective cannot type fast enough to confront all of the lies on the fiscal cliff. We are being barraged with corporate money funded digital bitstream lies on an minute by minute basis.

Identity Politics and Economic Reality

The election was won by identity politics. Black people voted for President Obama by over 93%, Hispanics 71% and Asians 73%. The exit polls show 55% of women voted for Obama, whereas 59% of white people voted for Romney. Ninety percent who thought the economy is good voted for Obama. Those who thought it is not so good voted for Romney by 60% margins.

Why Romney lost so big is a topic really outside our purview, yet we'll put in our 2¢ that it might be due to campaign rhetoric on policies promised. Unfortunately, there are words and there are deeds. What has the Obama administration done economically for the demographic groups who gave President Obama a second term?

 

unemployment rates by major demographics

 

The Fed Keeps Twisting and Tells Us the Economy is in the Wind

twistThe Federal Reserve will extend their Operation Twist past the June 2012 deadline and downgraded the economic outlook. Originally Operation Twist was $400 billion in Treasuries that were maturity dates of 3 years of less turned into T-bills with maturity dates of 6 to 30 years.

Here is the twist details from the NY Fed:

European Sovereign Debt Crisis - How Did This Happen?

piigsWith Spain now getting a bail out all to pump up their insolvent banks, one might wonder how did we get here in the first place?

We actually are on the precipice, with a key critical Geek vote on whether or not they will default on their international bail out. Sitting on the edge of a cliff, a review of the European sovereign debt crisis and how we got here is at hand.

What the hell happened is complicated. Greece is not the same as Ireland, nor is Spain the same as Greece. Ireland's sovereign debt crisis was the direct result of their financial crisis. Greece, on the other hand, had long standing structural problems with their economy. Nor are their economies the same although treating them as such originally was part of the problem.

The St. Louis Federal Reserve Research Director Christopher Waller gave a presentation on the the European Debt Crisis. The entire May 8th, 2012 lecture is below. The focus is on debt to GDP ratios, the European Union and interest rates for sovereign bonds. We learn about the European Union's major financial structural problems versus how exactly the debt happened. There are plenty of specifics and this lecture is concise, accurate in it's scope. If you don't understand European Sovereign Debt fundamentals, watch this lecture in full and you will.

Walmart's Low Prices Bear a High Cost for America

For untold millions, Walmart is not simply a place to shop, but the place. Considering that the quintessential big-box retailer claims to, and often does, offer just about every conventional item necessary for the family at an affordable price, this should be none too surprising.

However, at what cost does this convenience come, and in the grander scheme of things, is what Walmart has to offer really convenience at all? The company’s ownership would most definitely say so, as would throngs of eager consumers. Many economists, social scientists, and former employees, though, have a strikingly different opinion. While one can choose to believe whichever side of the argument he or she likes best, where do the facts lie?

First and foremost, it should be known that every single American taxpayer is essentially footing the bill for Walmart’s mere existence.

According to Reuters, this is because, as a study published last year by the City University of New York’s Hunter College Center for Community Planning showed, company employees receive inadequate health insurance coverage and in turn are left with few other options than to apply for public assistance. Beyond providing a lack of medical benefits, Walmart’s presence in most regions, says the study, "Depresses area wages....pushes out more retail jobs than it creates, and results in more retail vacancies."

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