ANOTHER Recession??????

And the whole world walked off a cliff…

Anyone else get the feeling the “experts” don’t have a clue how the economy actually works?

U.S. Economy Tipping into Recession

Early last week, ECRI notified clients that the U.S. economy is indeed tipping into a new recession. And there’s nothing that policy makers can do to head it off.

ECRI’s recession call isn’t based on just one or two leading indexes, but on dozens of specialized leading indexes, including the U.S. Long Leading Index, which was the first to turn down – before the Arab Spring and Japanese earthquake – to be followed by downturns in the Weekly Leading Index and other shorter-leading indexes. In fact, the most reliable forward-looking indicators are now collectively behaving as they did on the cusp of full-blown recessions, not “soft landings.”

Last year, amid the double-dip hysteria, we definitively ruled out an imminent recession based on leading indexes that began to turn up before QE2 was announced. Today, the key is that cyclical weakness is spreading widely from economic indicator to indicator in a telltale recessionary fashion.

Why should ECRI’s recession call be heeded? Perhaps because, as The Economist has noted, we’ve correctly called three recessions without any false alarms in-between. In contrast, most of those who’ve accurately predicted a recession or two have also been guilty of crying wolf – in 2010, 2005, 2003, 1998, 1995, or 1987.

A new recession isn’t simply a statistical event. It’s a vicious cycle that, once started, must run its course. Under certain circumstances, a drop in sales, for instance, lowers production, which results in declining employment and income, which in turn weakens sales further, all the while spreading like wildfire from industry to industry, region to region, and indicator to indicator. That’s what a recession is all about.

But how can we have a new recession just a couple of years after the last one officially ended? Isn’t this too short for an economic expansion?

More than three years ago, before the Lehman debacle, we were already warning of a longstanding pattern of slowing growth: at least since the 1970s, the pace of U.S. growth – especially in GDP and jobs – has been stair-stepping down in successive economic expansions. We expected this pattern to persist in the new economic expansion after the recession ended, and it certainly did. We also pointed out – months before the recession ended – that because the “Great Moderation” of business cycles (from about 1985 to 2007) was now history, the resulting combination of higher cyclical volatility and lower trend growth would virtually dictate an era of more frequent recessions.

So it comes as no surprise to us that, with the latest expansion only a couple of years old, we’re already facing a new recession. Actually, such short expansions are hardly unheard of. From 1799 to 1929, nearly 90% of U.S. expansions lasted three years or less, as did two of the three expansions between 1970 and 1981. In other words, such short expansions are unusual only with respect to recent decades…

World Stocks Fall On Fears Tea Baggers Will Kill Jobs Bill

Now looking to do for the world what they have done for the US in damaging US creditworthiness…

Foreign Investors join their American counterparts in  no longer believing Tea Party majority US Congress will do the right things for the US or World economy.

The Tea Baggers are idealoges, clinging to a thoroughly discredited mantra bent on destroying the Governemnt – and who are doing, and have done more damage to the United States…

Than Al Quaeda.

That “credible terrorist threat” reported by Law Enforcement on the 10th anniversay of 9-11 isn’t radicalized Muslims…

It’s radicalized Republicans.

World Stocks Fall On Fears That U.S. Jobs Plan Will Stall In Congress

World stocks fell Friday on investor worries that a U.S. plan to stimulate jobs and growth will be held up in Congress and may not be followed fast enough by action from the Federal Reserve.

The euro hit six-month lows against the dollar and the yen with more falls likely after the European Central Bank shifted away from further rises in interest rates, a key driver in the single currency’s rally this year.

U.S. shares were poised for a weaker open, extending Thursday’s falls after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke left the door open for new stimulus measures but stopped short of signaling the central bank would take the plunge.

Markets are concerned that President Barack Obama’s proposed $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending plans aimed at boosting growth and job creation could be hamstrung by political wrangling.

“Investors are holding back…There isn’t any reason to commit until you can see credible policies,” Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management, said.

“Bernanke was never going to say anything. He made it clear at Jackson Hole he was pushing it back to the politicians. Obama has come up with this stimulus package. We now have to digest what effect this will have, assuming it is passed.”

European shares fell as much as 1.1 percent, pulling down the MSCI world equity index 0.7 percent. S&P index futures were last down 0.6 percent, pointing to a lower start on Wall Street.

Market confidence has been fragile this week due to growing concerns over the global economy and Europe’s debt crisis, with Friday’s deadline for bond holders to decide on Greece’s swap offer adding to the nervousness.

“A Sugar Coated Satan Sandwich”

Hopefully, they will shoot this bill down today…

Debt Deal Emerging With Rightward Tilt

President Barack Obama’s rightward lurch to reach a $3 trillion deficit reduction deal with no guarantee of additional revenues had liberals fuming and Republicans all but declaring victory Sunday afternoon.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said early reports of the new deal appeared to be “a sugar-coated Satan sandwich.” The Missouri Democrat said the CBC hadn’t yet made a formal declaration that the group would oppose it, “but this is a shady bill.”

“This deal trades people’s livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it,” ripped Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, before House Democrats had even been briefed. “The lesson today is that Republicans can hold their breath long enough to get what they want.”

The President Surrenders

For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.

Start with the economics. We currently have a deeply depressed economy. We will almost certainly continue to have a depressed economy all through next year. And we will probably have a depressed economy through 2013 as well, if not beyond.

The worst thing you can do in these circumstances is slash government spending, since that will depress the economy even further. Pay no attention to those who invoke the confidence fairy, claiming that tough action on the budget will reassure businesses and consumers, leading them to spend more. It doesn’t work that way, a fact confirmed by many studies of the historical record.

Indeed, slashing spending while the economy is depressed won’t even help the budget situation much, and might well make it worse. On one side, interest rates on federal borrowing are currently very low, so spending cuts now will do little to reduce future interest costs. On the other side, making the economy weaker now will also hurt its long-run prospects, which will in turn reduce future revenue. So those demanding spending cuts now are like medieval doctors who treated the sick by bleeding them, and thereby made them even sicker.

And then there are the reported terms of the deal, which amount to an abject surrender on the part of the president. First, there will be big spending cuts, with no increase in revenue. Then a panel will make recommendations for further deficit reduction — and if these recommendations aren’t accepted, there will be more spending cuts.

 

Poverty in America Moves to the ‘Burbs

That stereotype of poverty being solely an inner city phenomenum just blew up – if it ever was really true at all. Seems there more “po’” folks in the ‘burbs than ever before. Indeed, there is now more poverty in the ‘burbs, than in urban areas.

What this means for the country is another harbinger of a disaster, brought on by disastrous legislative and economic policies. The modern poor include a lot of folks who pushed all the right buttons, and jumped all the right hurdles in life – working hard, getting an education…

Who are now jobless, and increasingly homeless.

A Modern Ghost Town

Poverty surging in U.S. suburbs

Poverty is rising all over the United States, but it is especially pronounced in the suburbs, which were once regarded as a haven from the ills of the inner cities.

According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization, one-third of the nation’s poor now reside in the suburbs.

CAP explained that the last decade set in motion this shift in the map of poverty, but the recession exacerbated key economic trends that rapidly increased the growth rate of suburban poverty to more than double that of central cities.

According to data from the Brookings Institute, as of 2009, 13.7-million poor people lived in the suburbs, a 37 percent increase since 2000 (compared with a 26.5 percent growth for the nation as a whole). In fact, it is now estimated that the number of poor people living in suburbia exceeds the number in the inner cities by about 1.6-million.

For example, poverty in the suburbs surrounding Chicago has climbed by 50 percent between 2000 and 2009 (while, ironically, the city’s poverty rate actually declined by 0.9 percent). Continue reading

No Longer Just Jose on the Corner Anymore…

Competition at the curbside…

Pinched Workers Seek Out Day Labor

High Joblessness Forces More People From Desk Jobs to Curb-Side Hiring Sites; a Bank Teller Takes Up Housecleaning

The face of day labor appears to be changing, with more women, non-Latinos and former white-collar workers taking up manual labor.

Amid continued high joblessness, employers say they are seeing more workers at curbside hiring sites, or seeking work through less traditional routes such as Craigslist, who before the downturn might have had full-time jobs.

Many lost desk jobs in the hard-hit auto, construction and financial industries. Some see manual labor such as housecleaning or hauling debris, where people are hired and paid per diem, as the only way to survive when jobs in their prior fields have become scarce.

America Joins the 3rd World

This looks like something I’ve seen in Haiti…

30,000 queue for housing assistance in Atlanta

Some 30,000 people lined up outside a local shopping centre in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday in the hope of receiving public housing assistance. The authorities were unprepared for the throng, which was unruly at times. Amid sweltering conditions, 62 people were hurt and 20 needed hospital care. Only 455 rent assistance vouchers and 200 public housing spaces were on offer – while 13,000 applications were taken.

Some had lined up since Sunday for the possibility of discounted rent.

It was the first time in eight years that the housing authority in East Point, a municipality in south-west Atlanta, had accepted applications for public housing and rent subsidies, known as Section 8 vouchers. Authorities estimate it will be six months before any vacancies become available for the small number of successful applicants. Most of the 16 other local housing authorities in Atlanta have closed their waiting lists. But Section 8 vouchers are portable, so people flocked from across the city for a chance to receive housing aid.

Atlanta is an economically polarized city: it has the fastest growing number of millionaires in the US but also has the third-highest proportion of people living below 50% of the poverty line.

“People are desperate. They are really willing to do whatever it takes to get into housing,” James Fraser, a public housing expert at Vanderbilt University, told the BBC.

Welcome to America after 30 years of conservatism. One of the favorite stitch’s of a black conservative buckdancer from Atlanta is to berate the City of Detroit. The line goes that Liberalism and Unions killed manufacturing in the North, as companies sought lower wage Continue reading

A New Labor Movement to Roil The US?

American Labor has been comatose since Ronald Raygun fired the Air Traffic Controllers in 1983. However, the US economy has a greater gap in income and wealth since the time of the Robber Barons of the  last century, when Labor took to the streets and rocked the country.

Perhaps we are seeing the seeds of another great Labor uprising, putting middle class America back on their feet.

Our country tends to g in idelogical swings from the left to right and back every 40 years – I think the kickback against conservatism may be bigger, and more serious than even Liberals suspect – IF Progressives can define and enunciate the issues around the right wing noise machine. I think those of the generational poor due to color, and the middle class may indeed find common ground…

At which point there is going to be hell to pay.

Hat Tip to Truthout, for another insightful piece.

United by Hard Times: Workers Organize Across Race Lines

by: Carlos Jimenez  |  YES Magazine

The Lawrence textile strike (1912), with soldiers surrounding peaceful demonstrators

I’m feeling relieved. For a while it seemed like the historic election of our first African American president would give legitimacy to the idea that we live in a “post-racial” America. The idea that race is no longer a part of people’s daily experience is not merely false. It’s potentially dangerous when a majority of people are struggling to understand what’s happening to them economically.

What people are experiencing is exactly what’s supposed to happen to them under capitalism and its current variant, neoliberalism. That economic system is grounded on the idea that society must have winners and losers. It has convinced people that those categories are based on race: that people of color are, in the natural course of things, losers; and that white people, regardless of class, are supposed to win.

When hard times hit, as they have recently, people who are losing their grip on their middle-class status—or those who were already poor and are getting poorer—look for someone to blame. They fall back on the official story: White people’s troubles are caused by people of color; the troubles of people of color who were born in this country are caused by immigrants. It’s a divide-and-conquer strategy that keeps people who are natural allies on a class basis from looking at who’s really causing their trouble: the people who run the capitalist system.

This moment presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to get people with shared economic interests working together—to get them past learned racial divides. As long as poor and working-class white people remain convinced that they win by keeping people of color on the margins, all workers will continue to lose economic ground. The opportunity is to use this economic crash as a way to find common ground among those who are the real losers—regardless of race—in the existing system…

The rest is here.

Moving Forward, Together

Despite the constant use of race as a wedge, and perhaps as a result of it, young people today are turning away from old racial divides and leading the way in creating a multicultural America. Data from a 2003 Gallup Poll showed that 82 percent of white 18- to 25-year-olds disagreed with the idea that they “don’t have much in common with people of other races.”

Spaces like the US Social Forum (USSF) in Detroit serve as opportunities to advance the discussion of building alliances based on class rather than race. The USSF expects more than 25,000 progressive activists and organizers to come together to share their work in areas as diverse as education, stopping the criminalization and incarceration of youth, bringing an end to unjust wars, bargaining collectively for better wages and benefits, attaining reproductive justice, and protecting the environment and Earth’s well-being.

But the overarching theme of the USSF is how we can build a larger movement that addresses not just racism, but the many structures that are impeding people from pursuing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Working people of all races are looking for movements or vehicles through which they can express their self-interest. We cannot allow the right wing and corporate elite to co-opt the anger that is out there, as they have with the “Tea Party” movement and the growing resentment against immigrant workers. Progressives can change the direction of our country for the better by helping working people join together, regardless of race, to be their own champions.

Moving Forward, Together

Despite the constant use of race as a wedge, and perhaps as a result of it, young people today are turning away from old racial divides and leading the way in creating a multicultural America. Data from a 2003 Gallup Poll showed that 82 percent of white 18- to 25-year-olds disagreed with the idea that they “don’t have much in common with people of other races.”

Spaces like the US Social Forum (USSF) in Detroit serve as opportunities to advance the discussion of building alliances based on class rather than race. The USSF expects more than 25,000 progressive activists and organizers to come together to share their work in areas as diverse as education, stopping the criminalization and incarceration of youth, bringing an end to unjust wars, bargaining collectively for better wages and benefits, attaining reproductive justice, and protecting the environment and Earth’s well-being.

But the overarching theme of the USSF is how we can build a larger movement that addresses not just racism, but the many structures that are impeding people from pursuing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Working people of all races are looking for movements or vehicles through which they can express their self-interest. We cannot allow the right wing and corporate elite to co-opt the anger that is out there, as they have with the “Tea Party” movement and the growing resentment against immigrant workers. Progressives can change the direction of our country for the better by helping working people join together, regardless of race, to be their own champions.

The New Jim (Recession) Crow – Older Educated Black Workers Hit Hardest

Unemployment in America is increasingly becoming targeted towards older, more experienced workers – with the people with skills being the first to lose their jobs, and the last hired. When you add the New Jim Crow to that, it has a disproportional impact on black Americans.

Recession hits older blacks in what should be their prime

America’s economic recession has hit African Americans who are middle age and older much harder over the last year than it has the general public, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the AARP.

In telephone surveys, more than twice as many African Americans ages 45 and older reported having trouble paying their mortgage or rent, having to cut back on medications and having borrowed money to pay living expenses in comparison to the general population.

Twice as many blacks also reported losing a job and having a spouse who either lost a job or had to take a second job. Nearly twice as many blacks had difficulty paying for essential items such as food and utilities.

These older, established black workers also lost their job-based health coverage at higher rates, were more likely to raid their retirement savings prematurely and provide financial help to their parents and children more often than their age-equivalent peers, the survey found.

The data reinforces what many experts have said for months: that the recession is really a depression for many blacks, particularly in areas where black unemployment has surpassed or hovers around 20 percent.

AARP Vice President Edna Kane-Williams said the disparities reflect the tough circumstances and tough choices blacks are making to survive the economic downturn.

“The recession has driven many African Americans to make hard choices now that may lead to serious problems down the road,” Kane-Williams said. “Raiding your nest egg or ending contributions, even in the short-term, will have long-term consequences because you will have less time to make up the losses.”

The troubling findings paint a gloomy financial picture for African-American workers during what should be some of their prime earning years, said Algernon Austin, who heads the Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy program at the Economic Policy Institute.

The data also bodes ill for the future of these workers, Austin said, since many are using their retirement savings to pay for living expenses, health care and education costs and to support adult children.

“These findings suggest we shouldn’t be surprised if we see increases in poverty rates for blacks 65 and older in the coming years because a number of them are spending down their retirement income to try to get past this Great Recession,” he said.

Equally troubling is that older blacks aren’t consulting financial planners or using the Internet for financial assistance at the same rates as their non-black peers. Instead, they’re relying more on financial advice from friends and family members.

The survey did find that blacks were more likely to be training for a job in a new field, looking for a job and taking part in job fairs.

Nationally, the black unemployment rate is 16.5 percent, compared with 9.7 percent for the nation as a whole. The jobless rate is 8.7 percent for whites, 12.6 percent for Hispanics and 8.4 percent for Asians.

“I would have no problem saying (blacks are) in a depression,” Austin said. “There are different technical definitions and debates about what is or isn’t a depression, but to me, when you have unemployment close to 20 percent or above, the community is economically depressed.”

The AARP survey was conducted by phone in January and involved a national random sample of 1,407 respondents, of which 405 were black. The margin of error is 3.1 percentage points for the non-black respondents and 4.9 percentage points for the African-American sample group.

Winter In America – the Recession’s Impact on Minorities

This is a discussion of how the “recession” has impacted the Minority communities.

Talking Heads Stir Paranoia Among White Men

Listening to Glenn Beck and Michelle Maliken this week you would have to believe that every old white guy in the country has a bulls eye painted on his back. White victimization is a popular string among the racist set, where a long line of perceived disadvantages manufacture the justification for hate.

Bread Line Statue at Franlin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Bread Line Statue at Franlin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

The target audience for this currently is disaffected older white males, who are suffering from the recession/depression which was manufactured by failed conservative policies. Obviously, it is Beck and his kindred talking heads job to point the blame at Minorities – instead of squarely at folks like him who enabled the crippling of the nation’s economy.

Turns out there is some real pain out there to leverage racial hatred from -

Older white males hurt more by this recession Continue reading

Jobless Rates Keep Rising

Tis country is in deep deep doo doo…

And as of yet, I don’t see any of the SOBs who screwed the country doing time with the regular run of the mill burglars, thieves, and thugs.

One of my hopes for the Obama Presidency after 8 years of lawless corruption, special justice for special people, and thuggery, is that the Nation through the crucible of recovery from the disastrious policies and corruption of the last 8 years would emerge, at long last to creating a system of real justice serving the people – and not just special interests.

One needs to ask – How hard does the country have to hit the wall, before accountability becomes habit?

Seems to me you have to take out the trash before you can solve the rat problem…

Jobless Rates US States

Jobless Rates US States

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