Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scratching behind your ear

Initial unemployment claims were down by 11,000 last week but continuing claims were up 81000. This has become the new normal for jobs to continue  disappearing as the middle class is replaced by the working poor.

More people over 65 are in the workforce than teenagers for the first time since statistics have been kept. It’s not that the baby boomers are swelling the Walmart greeter ranks and causing this phenomenon as the boomer demographic are still under 65 and have yet to enter the ranks of the working elderly. It’s the loss of middle class wealth that is driving this, service jobs that are normally entry level jobs for teens are now sustaining people with kids to feed.

Wages continue to fall and jobs that pay a living wage are becoming a thing of the past, but even if this satisfies some conservative fantasy of a low wage America where their money will go farther, it can not last. Most of these service jobs are providing services to people who provide those same services. As Ross Perot sagely prophesized, “you can’t run an economy by giving each other haircuts”. We are reaping the whirlwind of the free trade economics he tried to warn us about.

The Federal Reserve’s beige book report on the economy just came out and painted a very lackluster picture for America. A voting member of the Board has come out in public with a warning of looming deflation. The “solution” he is advocating for is to have the Fed to begin buying government debt to keep investors from buying it thus forcing them to actually invest. There’s a concept for you.

This might sound to you like they would just be printing money because they would be, but that’s what the Federal Reserve does. You didn’t think they used their “reserves” did you? (psst, they aren’t “Federal” either). Fed Chairman Bernanke has said they are prepared to take action and this is about all they have left.

The problem is that the investor class has gotten to the point where they don’t care about Fed policy. They make the policy and they expect the Federal Reserve to reflect that. Back in the day, FDR told the Federal Reserve what monetary policy would be. It’s not clear what Obama’s relationship is the Fed, who is the tail and who is the dog. So far it’s the middle class who has gotten all the fleas.


SanMigMike said...

I might be wrong but if health insurance stocks went up after the health care "reform" and Wall Street stocks went up after that "reform" one has to think that the "reform" is so much BS by a "Republican Lite" President, not a progressive or even an old fashioned liberal or even a Democrat. Maybe we just have Bill Clinton II except no sex scandals.

I don't see a happy future for the current President, the people that walked the precincts and manned (and womanned) the phone banks are not going to be therenext time in the same numbers...I fir one might be willing to throw my vote away on a third party candidate. I don't see him getting any support from most Republicans since they hate a Republican Lite even more than a socialist.

I'd like to think that the population might wake up but I think our last revolution was over 200 years ago and that will be our only obvious one. The one that most people don't see is how that less than two percent of the population get to run the country for their benefit...we pay the taxes and they get to run the country through their hired hands...while WalMart, Kroger and other workers pull at their greasy forelocks and mumble "Yes Master", and "It sure is great having a job Sir, you can make me part time and pay me next to nothing and don't worry none about those silly things like retirement and health insurance." and "Yes Sir..I'll keep voting Republican since I sure don't want no socialism for us...just for the rich...and I am scared to death that some Islamoterrorist is going to blow up my single wide...I only got twenty more years of payments on it!"..."Now let me alone and let my get back to my TV..."

It has become painfully clear that Capitalism is dead for the same reasons Communism is dead...greedy people working to make it fail but we get to dance a bit longer to the tune of of that two percent that are trying to steal the pennies out of dead men's to keep stealing as long as there is something left to steal eh?

Pity we are stuck with two parties: one that has to check with their corporate masters before they even dare to try to think (and seem to enjoy proving that they cannot run a government but they can steal everything that is not nailed down and even most things that are nailed down while they are proving that they can't run a government) and the other that has a few people that think but all to many that lack guts (think of another word that can apply to both men and women and you will know what I really want to say) and both parties work to marginalize the handful of politicians with guts and brains.

prairie2 said...

The Democrats, as bad as they are, are still a political party that can still work for the people. The Republicans no longer even make the pretense. There are good Progressive Dems and we need more. You can't stay home and wait for the end and start over, there is no starting over. Third parties are a waste of time and money unless the Progressive Caucus were to break away but if they got that big they wouldn't need to.

SanMigMike said...

I think at times the Democrats do remember their roots but we have people like Ben Nelson and many others that are DINO and the at some point if we as Democrats are going to make some progress it has be mean something to to be a Democrat and if you don't go with the Democratic program you don't get to be in the club. I mean look at Lieberman and the damage he is still doing.

To a point I agree that voting third party is a waste but if the other choices are really the type of choice that you are holding your nose and voting for the lesser idiot it might make sense to let them know that there are some, and hopefully a growing number of "some" that are tired of the same old BS.

I felt old Howard Ruff and his type were out to lunch with their doom and gloom but here we are...a county that has been making wrong choices for thirty years and right now the wrong choices keep being made due to the way our system is broken, the country is broken and the handful of people that control the country don't give a darn since they are still making money and way too much of population is asleep in front of the TV while the talking heads tell us either things are getting better and it isn't as bad as it seems or Obama is a socialist/Nazi/communist and wasn't born here anyway and just as soon as the conservatives get back in power and we cut taxes for the rich and corporations and get rid of Social Security and Medicare every thing will be wonderful.

Wish I could see much hope but the people at the wheel are not asleep but most of the rest of the population might as well be for all the attention they are paying. The end really is near.