Thursday, February 20, 2014

Feel the pain


New unemployment claims were down by 3000 last week to 336,000, not really 'great numbers' but in line with continued significant growth.

The President (elected twice while Black) Obama has dropped his bargaining point that would have restricted cost of living cuts for Social Security. While still technically 'on the table' for negotiations with Republicans, it would require that they agree to tax hikes on the people who are actually destroying America.  I'm waiting for the GOP to produce a live Unicorn before they agree to tax their billionaire masters a single penny.

Wall Street Economists are predicting a 'not seen since the New Deal ended' 4% annual growth of the US GDP. Since wages are depressed the only basis for this is that consumers are taking on debt at the fastest pace since 2007. There was an increase of $241b in new debt in just the past 4th Quarter.

Notice how this is phrased so as to be interpreted as to be the 'fault' of consumers. In reality the credit card companies, and the retailers who issue their own credit are putting out really high credit lines with zero interest for 1 to 2 years. If you are capable of paying the bill this no problem, it's free money. If you're up against the wall and hopping for a miracle, how could you turn it down?

In terms of the future of 'The Republic', the real problem is the amount of the college debt. It increased by 12% over the previous year to $1.1t. Stop and think about that rate of increase compared to the 'lifetime' of a college graduate.  You guessed it, it's unsustainable.

Just as an aside, Military families are more dependant on food stamps than ever. In fact 40% of those on 'food stamps' have jobs, 45% are retired from jobs and the 15% left over are unemployed from jobs. The Republicans would deny food to all of them. Just in case you are from the one percent, what we're talking about doesn't mean that the fiscally embarrassed would have to eat at 3 star restaurants instead of five star, it means that they will scrounge the dumpsters. If they have no luck finding enough to eat from the garbage of the rich, then they starve.

Bloomberg News is reporting that Walmart is seriously considering throwing their support behind the $10 min wage. Walmart has successfully created an economy where everyone in a 40 mile radius of each store is too poor to shop in Walmart stores, but their endgame of Plantations is thus far blocked by Obama. So it's time to sound reasonable and increase wages to the level of sustainable poverty.

The CBO says that 500,000 low wage jobs would be lost to an increase in the min wage.They aren't allowed by the restrictions on the question submitted by the GOP House to explain how this is a good thing. Millions of workers making substantially higher wages at $10/hour will spend their  new money, boosting the economy and creating good paying jobs.

Twitter @BruceEnberg where Conservatives are made to feel the pain of their workers