http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/every-person-added-labor-force-10-added-those-not-labor-force_654547.htmlA new chart from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee details the fact that, since January 2009, for every person added to the labor force, 10 have been added to those not in the labor force.* MAKES SENSE. IN LINE WITH WHAT WE KNOW. HOW IT BREAKS DOWN IN TERMS OF "ATTRITION/VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT" vs. "LONG TERM UNEMPLOYMENT/UNDEREMPLOYMENT" IS WHAT'S IMPORTANT. AGAIN... IT'S THE U6 FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT STAT (THE ONE THAT REMAINED CONSTANT AT 14.7% WHILE U3 UNEMPLOYMENT SUPPOSEDLY FELL BY THREE POINTS) THAT MATTERS.[I]n the nearly four years since President Obama took office in January 2009, only 827,000 people have been added to the labor force, while during that same time period, 8,208,000 have been added to those not in the labor force.[T]he minority side of the Senate Budget Committee concludes, "These figures reveal several troubling trends: That the jobs market is not keeping pace with U.S. population growth; that not enough younger Americans are joining the labor force to account for retirement among an ageing population; and that a large number of workers have become so discouraged that they simply stopped looking for work and left the labor force entirely. These factors pose serious fiscal challenges for the United States. A historically low labor force participation rate—together with an ageing population and a record number of people drawing federal welfare benefits—puts severe strain on the federal budget in both the near and long term."Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, comments: “The essential point of this chart is not simply how many people are employed or unemployed, but to illustrate that more and more people are simply not part of the U.S. labor force. This confirms that we are on the wrong track. It is unsustainable to have such a large and growing number of people who are not part of the productive economy. This is not a political argument, but a description of the underlying instability in our economy that has so many Americans worried about the future. The question is what can we do to reverse these trends and start moving in the right direction.”
* TWO-PARTER... (Part 1 of 2)http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/how-the-gm-bailout-turned-into-foreign-aid/Before the bailout of General Motors, it was well understood that the world’s largest automaker was losing huge amounts of money in the U.S. and was staying afloat thanks to stronger performance in overseas markets. Since the bailout, however, that dynamic has been turned on its head. Thanks to a leaner manufacturing footprint, debt eliminations...(*SMIRK*)* THE BAILOUTS... THE CORPORATE WELFARE... THE TAX FORGIVENESS...* IN OTHER WORDS... THE CRONY CAPITALISM THAT IS THE HALLMARK OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION....and steadily recovering sales, GM’s U.S. operations have generated the lion’s share of the company’s profit since the bailout. And now, as the rest of the world economy slows, GM is spending more and more of its taxpayer-enhanced cash pile to shore up its faltering foreign divisions. (*PURSED LIPS*)In fact, according to an analysis of GM’s SEC filings, the company is likely to incur over $6.5 billion in losses and expenditures overseas in the 2011-2014 period, not counting over $1.6b in foreign potential legal liabilities or several other incalculable expenses that could add up to billions more. Not only are these expenses a challenge to GM’s overall financial health at a time when it also faces billion-dollar expenditures on pensions in the U.S., it shows the basic problem with national bailouts of global companies. Taxpayers who were told they were saving an American company are now seeing their tax dollars flowing overseas by the billions.(*NOD*)* TO BE CONTINUED...
* CONCLUDING... (Part 2 of 2)A full calculation of GM’s overseas expenditures since the bailout would be a daunting task indeed. Simply by scouring GM’s latest SEC filings, one finds no shortage of losses and one-time expenditures abroad. In fact, nearly every division of GM’s global empire has required some kind of assistance over the last year or so. These expenditures come in many forms, from tax assessments to investments, from bailouts to severance deals, and due to the complex nature of GM’s global finances they cannot be fully accounted with precision. But they all emphasize the reality that, after years of living off foreign operations, GM’s bailed-out North American division is now bailing out the rest of the world.(*SIGH*)GM’s European losses currently get the most attention from analysts, and are nothing new for The General, which has reportedly lost over $14b in Europe over the last decade. Those losses and expenditures continue to add up. GM losses and outlays in Europe, 2010-June 2012: $4.5b+GM’s Asian operations are consolidated as GM International Operations (GMIO), a division that includes Korea, China, Australia, India and other Asian markets. ... In 2011, GM spent $100m for 7% of its GM Korea subsidiary, increasing its holding to 77%. This year, GM has recorded a $27m Goodwill impairment related to its Korean operations, and has paid $22m to Korean workers as part of its severance program there. GM Korea also carries significant amounts of short-term and long-term debt to Korean creditors that GM will have to pay down.GM Outlays on GMIO, 2011-2012: $380mGM’s South American unit dipped into the red in the second quarter of this year, and its $64m net EBIT through the first half of 2012 is just $7m better than its Q1 2011 performance alone. But even if GMSA’s performance improves this year, it has paid out around $100m this year between the purchase of GMAC’s Venezuelan financing operation and a worker severance program in Brazil. GM Outlays in South America, 2011-2012: $1.7bWithout including potential liability costs or the more inevitable costs associated with Opel’s restructuring, GM has spent or lost in excess of $6.5b overseas in the last 30 months or so. With more losses and expenses coming, taxpayers can expect to see their investment in GM’s North American operations continue to support a steady flow of cash to GM’s overseas operations. Perhaps taxpayers should have been told that they weren’t simply bailing out an American automaker, but a variety of overseas operations as well.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-2-shot-in-separate-south-side-shootings-20121013,0,5277041.storyTwo teenagers were killed and 24 others were wounded across Chicago Saturday night through Sunday morning.* AGAIN, FOLKS... WE'VE LOST CHICAGO.(*SHRUG*)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/15/us-usa-pensions-study-idUSBRE89E0NF20121015The largest 100 public pension funds have around $1.2 trillion of unfunded liabilities, about $300 billion above the nearly $900 billion they reported themselves, according to a new actuarial study to be released on Monday.* AND THAT'S JUST THE TOP 100. WHAT'RE THE NUMBERS FOR THE TOP 1,000 I WONDER...?!The pension systems reported a median funding level of 75.1 %. * HMM... 100% MINUS 75.1% EQUALS... 24.9%. ("OOPS" DOESN'T REALLY SEEM TO CUT IT...)The study by the actuarial firm Milliman, which used different ways to value assets and measure liabilities, finds an aggregate level of funding of 67.8%.* DOUBLE "OOPS...?!"* BOTTOM LINE, FOLKS... THE FOLKS RUNNING THESE PUBLIC PENSION SYSTEMS ARE CRIMINALS. THEY SHOULD BE IN JAIL. INSTEAD... THEY'RE RICH AND POWERFUL MEMBERS OF THE OLIGARCHY.=====================http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-we-got-back-every-dime-bailout-cbo-bailout-will-lose-24-billionPresident Barack Obama said on Thursday that “we got back every dime we used to rescue the financial system."* BUT TODAY CNS REPORTS... (KEEP READING!)According to the Congressional Budget Office, however, the government will lose about $24 billion on the bailout.* OOPS...“We got back every dime we used to rescue the financial system, but we also passed a historic law to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts for good,” Obama said in Miami Thursday.* YEAH... OBAMA "SAYS" A LOT OF THINGS...(*PURSED LIPS*)The Congressional Budget Office - based on figures from Obama’s own Office of Management and Budget - gives a different assessment.* IMAGINE THAT...(*SMIRK*)“The cost to the federal government of the TARP’s transactions (also referred to as the subsidy cost), including grants for mortgage programs that have not yet been made, will amount to $24 billion,” said the CBO report, which was released on the same day Obama spoke.TARP is the Troubled Asset Relief Program – the formal name of the government’s financial bailout program passed in October 2008.CBO said that the cost of TARP “stems largely from assistance to American International Group (AIG), aid to the automotive industry, and grant programs aimed at avoiding home mortgage foreclosures,” noting that the losses will be so large they will eclipse the financial gains the government will realize from bailing out other large financial institutions.In fact, CBO reported that as of now $65 billion in TARP funds remain outstanding.* HEY, FOLKS... CONSIDER THIS: THIS IS ASIDE AND APART FROM THE COST OF BAILING OUT FREDDIE MAC AND FANNIE MAE AND SALLY MAE!
* TWO-PARTER... (Part 1 of 2)http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2012/10/14/amazon-com-exposes-the-fraudulent-nature-of-the-2008-bank-bailouts/A regular response from bank bailout apologists back in 2008 was that absent the use of taxpayer money to prop them up, lending would freeze and businesses would collapse. * AND I RECOGNIZED THAT THIS WAS BULLSHIT FROM THE BEGINNING. MOST FOLKS DIDN'T, UNFORTUNATELY.The bailouts were "necessary," according to the apologists, because our much-admired commercial sector is and was reliant on bank credit.* BULL. IT WAS A SCAM. THE OLIGARCHS ROBBED US BLIND.The above arguments were naturally ridiculous. As Thomas Woods noted in his book Meltdown, banks in 2008 only accounted for 20% of corporate lending. Furthermore, going back 100 years to the early part of the 20th century, according to G. Edward Griffin’s very uneven (and often conspiratorial) book "The Creature from Jekyll Island", 70%+ of lending to corporations was of the corporation-to-corporation variety.Put plainly, banks in the U.S. have long since been eclipsed by alternative sources of finance when it comes to providing companies with credit. Putting it in numeric terms in the present, in their excellent new book Freedom Manifesto Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames write that U.S. companies have $1.2 trillion in bank loans outstanding, whereas their European counterparts have over $6 trillion. Contrary to popular opinion, the failure of one or many banks in 2008 would not have led to a collapse in credit for solvent companies.* THIS IS WHAT I SAID AT THE TIME! To understand why, we must consider what economists refer to as the “substitution effect.” Basically, shortages of anything are often made up for by new market entrants. Banks are no different in this regard.Back in the summer of 2010, with its small-business clientele suffering from tighter than normal credit, Walmart’s Sam’s Club subsidiary announced its willingness to provide its customers with $25,000 lines of credit. Walmart has for years tried to get into banking, absurd regulations about new entrants arguably kept it from purchasing some of the insolvent banks in ’08, but even without a banking charter, Walmart was able offer up credit at a time when banks weren’t able to.Much the same is occurring now at Amazon.com. Traditional banks remain careful about lending, but Amazon, flush with cash, is eagerly substituting for the banks. Through its Amazon Capital Services subsidiary, Amazon is helping the sellers on its website to access credit that is in short supply at the moment from banks.Getting into specifics, the Wall Street Journal recently reported on Lisa Zerr, owner of Yankee Toy Box, and her urgent need to secure credit in order to upgrade her inventory ahead of the holiday shopping season. Yankee Toy Box does a lot of business on Amazon, and she’s since borrowed from Capital Services $38,000 in July, and then $13,000 last month.It should be stressed that Amazon is one of myriad companies that uses its balance sheet to provide banking services to customers. Not a traditional bank, it acts as a bank, and is a substitute for a limping sector.* TO BE CONTINUED...
* CONCLUDING... (Part 2 of 2)Amazon’s story naturally exposes as fraudulent the hysterical assertions made by politicians, Fed Chairman Bernanke, and numerous members of the commentariat who said absent bank bailouts in ’08, the economy would disappear. They were wrong then, and they’re wrong now.* "WRONG" IS GIVING THEM THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. ME? I BELIEVE THEY KNEW FULL WELL WHAT THEY WERE DOING.As for the monetary mystics out there who write column after column about how the Fed’s payment of interest on [bank] reserves (IOR) is keeping lending abnormally tight, the Amazon story similarly exposes them as incorrect. Indeed, while it’s certainly true that the Fed should not be paying banks for the dollar reserves it’s attempted to force on them through quantitative easing, the simple truth is that even if IOR were the reason for banks being tight (it’s not), substitute lenders would, could and are filling the breach.Regarding the mistaken bailouts of the banks themselves, they offer a much better explanation for why banks today are so reluctant to lend to anyone but the best of credit risks. The reasoning here is very basic: Banks were rendered insolvent in 2008 and are struggling today because they have loans and securities that are a collection of loans on their balance sheets that aren’t worth what they were five years ago. The loans themselves are in some instances non-performing, and then the markets don’t trust the securities that comprise numerous non-performing loans. Also, prisoners of their own past errors, banks are understandably gun shy, though perhaps relieved that they’ve been given a new lease on life on the taxpayer dime.But imagine if those banks had been allowed to file for bankruptcy? If so, loans and securities alike would have been sold at bargain basement prices to solvent banks, not to mention intrepid investors looking for value.* YES!Considering the solvent banks alone, had they been able to purchase their competitors at the bottom, today they would have highly profitable loans and securities on their books that would have them far more able to aggressively lend to businesses and individuals. Of course, as we all know, the latter scenario never played out. Instead, insolvent banks were improperly saved, and while they continue to operate, their past mistakes still haunt their balances sheets and their minds such that they’re acting conservatively – as they should be.(*NOD*)The clear lesson from all this is that bailouts didn’t help banking, rather they handcuffed those "saved," all the while slowing the natural evolution of the banking sector. Amazon.com is the latest reminder that if banks or other sources of credit in the financial services industry ever become tight, substitutions will ably fill in for them. Rather than prop up the weak in the future, it’s necessary that we let free markets work their magic on the way to new sources of credit.
http://paul.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2017:government-dependency-will-end-in-chaos&catid=64:2012-texas-straight-talk&Itemid=69* BY THE HON. RON PAUL (R-TX)The media insists on characterizing statements about dependency on government handouts as controversial, but in truth such statements are absolutely correct. It's not that "nearly half" of Americans are dependent on government - it's actually more than half[!]If one includes not just people on food stamps and welfare, but also seniors on Medicare, Social Security and people employed by the government directly, the number is more like 165 million out of 308 million - which is 53%.Some argue that Social Security and Medicare benefits are a right because people pay into these programs their whole lives, or that we need a government safety net in place for people who fall on hard times. However, this all becomes a moot point when the funds people depend on become worthless due to government default or rampant inflation.* SOCIAL SECURITY IS A PAY AS YOU GO PROGRAM. THERE ARE NO "SAVINGS." THERE IS NO "LOCK BOX." PAST "CONTRIBUTIONS" HAVE BEEN SPENT - THE MONEY LEGALLY "STOLEN" BY THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF.The Fed recently announced that it plans to keep interest rates near zero and keep buying near worthless assets from banks indefinitely. This enables Congress to spend without having to take deficits or the debt seriously and there is every indication they intend to spend with impunity until the system collapses. * YEP... CONGRESSMAN PAUL IS CORRECT.There are no brakes on the runaway train. The federal debt ceiling law does nothing to limit spending. The ceiling will have to be raised yet again perhaps before the year is out. What is happening in Greece with austerity measures and riots in the street will happen here within a decade according to some realistic estimates if we do not find some way to fiscally restrain our government.* BUY AND STOCK GUNS AND AMMUNTION WHILE YOU CAN, FOLKS.There is little point in a debate about being entitled to healthcare or food or shelter from fellow taxpayers if the whole system has collapsed. And, with the way our politicians have taken over and mismanaged vast amounts of resources, collapse seems almost unavoidable. Yet the number of Americans who have significant dependency on government is dangerously high, and I honestly fear for them.Worse, corporate welfare is also at an all time high with no signs of diminishing. Though it is hard to quantify, Tad Dehaven at Cato has estimated that the government spends nearly twice as much on corporate welfare than on social welfare. Both parties are equally guilty. More and more, the business sector is learning to rely on taxpayer largesse in one form or another. They used to be solely concerned with providing a better product to the consumer at a better price. Now, success on Wall Street depends entirely too much on having the best lobbyists on K Street. If one includes the employees of "private" businesses who depend on government contracts, grants or bailouts, there are even more people dependent on government in some way.Government does not create resources when it taxes people and prints money; it merely redistributes the wealth, while supporting a massive, wasteful bureaucracy along the way. Government is a giant, blood-sucking parasite on our otherwise healthy economy. The answer is not to keep asking government to do more. The answer is to extricate our economy and ourselves from the grasp of Washington DC as much as possible now, before our dependency becomes our downfall.* AMEN!
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