Saturday, February 1, 2014

Supply, Demand & Robots

Warning, warning! Danger Will Robinson!

We don't have enough demand for goods and services hence high unemployment. Raising wages for the poor increases their spending thus increasing demand and stimulating the economy. The minimum wage worker's part of the cost of anything is only a small percentage, it's not going to dramatically increase prices or cause a run to robots. They would already be using robots for those jobs if it was so close that $3/hour was the difference.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The American Dream is an exclusive address

Fourth quarter GDP grew 3.2%, this was down from the rather astounding 4.1% growth in the third quarter. Both of these numbers are better than almost all quarters since the adoption of Trickle Down Economics three decades ago. In light of two consecutive quarters of strong growth the Federal Reserve is cutting it's QE3 bond purchase program by another $10b to $65b/month.

A fly in the ointment is that durable goods orders are down, but it's too early to know if that's really a trend. The GDP growth was driven by stronger Consumer spending from increased Consumer debt and from an increase in exports which was mostly petroleum.

Wage growth is still extremely weak with corporations continuing to replace union workers as they retire with so-called second tier workers at wages that in historical terms are really minimum wage jobs. The 'job creators' are also pushing hard to take away the benefits from this new generation of 'union' workers.

Fully 76% of Americans now live paycheck to paycheck with no margin of error for an emergency, let alone risk their income to participate in unions or any sort of job risking civil disobedience. Americans have for the past 30 years stubbornly held onto the notion that they live in the Middle Class, and it was really nothing but a fiction for most of them. This is finally starting to change as the latest polling shows that 47% of American workers now see themselves as lower class or at best, lower middle class. You'll notice that the difference between the 76% who can't afford to miss a paycheck and the 47% who are finally realizing where they really live is still a big number. They don't live the American Dream anymore but 30% still think that they do.

Harry Reid came through and killed the Fast Track scam to push the Trans Pacific Partnership through Congress without Senators reading it let alone the public being made privy to it. WikiLeaks put a lot of the material online which is doubtless the only reason that it's been killed. The President could still seek to have it introduced through the normal Committee process but in the light of day it has almost no chance of passage. This a fairly large contingent of Progressives in the Senate with the knowledge of how the economy really works. These Progressives are raking through the muck of a system that benefits billionaires only, and people are starting to realize where the smell has been coming from.

Twitter @BruceEnberg - where we turn on the light and Conservatives scurry for that space under the fridge