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Celebrating Labor Day: A ‘Jobless Recovery’ On Earth, And The Future Of Workers On Mars

Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker

Happy Labor Day! And what better time than this annual celebration of America’s working stiffs to draw attention to our national economic recovery?

As those attached to the Dow Jones Average can attest, the economy is now perking along quite nicely, with the Dow up 57 percent since the dark days of 2009, presently soaring above 13,000. Also, the nation’s pile of wealth has grown impressively, executive paychecks have zoomed back up to Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah levels, and sales at stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue are absolutely crackerjack!

The only little cloud over this otherwise sunshiny recovery is … well, you. You people for whom Labor Day is named, that is.

Not only did Wall Street’s crash knock jobs, wages, benefits, homeownership and middle-class opportunities into the ditch, but they’re still stuck there — and even sinking lower. Yet the financial elites, political establishment and media powers remain rapturously focused on the Dow, uncaring about the precipitous decline in the Doug Jones Average.

If Doug and Donna aren’t prospering, neither is America, no matter how much wealth the privileged few are lavishing on luxury goods or socking away in offshore tax havens.

Read more from this story HERE.

It’s Not Getting Better: GDP Slows to Sluggish 1.7 Percent Rate

This morning’s update from the Department of Commerce on economic activity in the second quarter shows that the economy grew at an anemic 1.7 percent annual rate. This follows a nearly equally weak first quarter growth rate of 2.0 percent.

How weak is this? In terms of economic output, the current recovery is the weakest of any since 1945: Total output is only 6.8 percent higher than when the recession ended in 2009, which was about 12 quarters ago. Compare that to the other really big post-war recession: 1981. After 12 quarters, economic output stood 18.5 percent higher than the end of that recession. Even the really slow recovery from the 2001 recession outdoes the current one: By 12 quarters following the end of the 2001 recession, economic output was 8.9 percent higher.

The weak spots in the current recovery stand out in today’s economic growth report. The Bureau of Economic Analysis traces the sluggish growth rate to slowdowns in the spending of households and businesses and shrinking inventories.

While the media will highlight the weak household spending numbers, the real focus of concern should be on business investment. When businesses hold back on improving and growing their productive capacity, that inaction directly affects hiring decisions and, thus, household incomes. And that’s what businesses appear to be doing this year: They are sitting this economy out.

Very few economic actions testify more strongly to the failure of current economic policy—especially the threats of tax increases next year—than what businesses are doing. Well before voters head to the polling booth in November, American business has apparently voted against the near-term prospects of the economy. Imagine the economy today if better economic policy had been the norm over the past several years.

Read more from this story HERE.

US on the Brink of the Greatest Depression Ever via Fox News

Photo credit: Mike Licht

Everywhere from FoxNews.com to CNBC.com, I suddenly see commentators warning of pending doom, economic collapse, and a new Great Depression. Welcome to my club. Perhaps America’s politicians and economists should have paid attention to an entrepreneur and small businessman that has been warning of economic collapse and a new Great Depression publicly for over two years.

More importantly, none of the current commentaries mention the “why’s” of this slow motion economic collapse…beyond the obvious — mountains of deficit and debt. None of them mention the dysfunctional structure of the current U.S. economy and the massive changes in the work ethic and mindset of the average American.

I am a successful small businessman and a patriot who loves America and always sees its greatness. I am also an optimistic, positive thinker who always sees the glass half full. But not this time.

This time we are in such deep trouble, the only solution is a radical restructuring of the politicians, the economy, and the way we view personal responsibility versus government handouts. If those changes don’t come then we are facing a long decline and the eventual end of America.

This time the results are going to be dramatically worse than 1929. This time we are facing The Greatest Depression ever.

Read more from this story HERE.

Video: The question is not “if,” it’s “when” our nation collapses from insolvency

This new “Government Gone Wild” video explains in simple terms that both parties are selling this country out. Collapse is inevitable absent fundamental change.

Heritage: Another Recession Is Imminent

Photo credit: Ed Yourdon

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that without a doubt, America will have a fresh recession next year unless Congress and the President prevent it.

We are facing the largest tax increase in history—Taxmageddon, scheduled to take effect January 1—and what experts are calling a “fiscal cliff” of sharp and unforgiving budget changes that will send the country spiraling downward. Congress and the President have the power to prevent this, and when the August congressional recess is over, that is exactly what they should do.

In its new report, the CBO said that if Congress does not act, it’s not economic growth we should be worried about, because the economy will actually shrink next year. It will shrink by 0.5 percent, and the unemployment rate will spike to 9.1 percent. As Heritage’s J.D. Foster explains: “Forget percentages—what does this mean in actual jobs lost if President Obama and Congress fail to act? It means roughly 1.6 million more Americans will be out of work—on top of the 12.8 million who already want to work but can’t find jobs.”

Preventing Taxmageddon and the fiscal cliff are necessary just to keep the economy from taking a nosedive. The status quo isn’t attractive, but Congress certainly shouldn’t make things worse. If Congress moves to prevent the nosedive, the CBO projects that the economy will grow only slightly next year, at an anemic 1.7 percent, and the unemployment rate will remain stuck around 8 percent.

Why? The CBO report makes it clear: Our spending problem continues, and it’s driven mainly by the three major entitlements: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Spending on these programs will outpace tax revenue over the next decade.

Read more from this story HERE.

Top Investor Warns of “Financial Armageddon” as Billionaires Dump Stocks, Buy Gold

In what analysts say is another indication that the economy will get worse in the not-too-distant future, recent filings by billionaire financier George Soros show he dumped virtually all his holdings in major financial companies like JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup. His multi-billion-dollar U.S. fund also loaded up on gold, with the portfolio now holding more than $130 million worth of the precious metal.

Data compiled by analysts based on Soros’ most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed that during the last quarter, his American fund sold more than a million shares of the big financial companies with a value of almost $50 million. During that period, Soros Fund Management also more than doubled its position in the SPDR Gold Trust to nearly 900,000 shares.

“When a major global player with direct ties to the White House, Wall Street, and the banking system starts off-loading stocks and starts stacking gold, it suggests a very serious market move is set to happen,” observed commentator Mac Slavo, a generally pessimistic analyst who follows financial news closely and has long predicted unprecedented economic chaos.

Despite his far-left political agenda, Soros has a solid track record of making wise financial moves. Americans should pay attention. “Soros is getting out of those companies which are most at risk should the financial system buckle like it did in 2008 and he’s shifting his assets into what may be the only asset class left standing when it’s all said and done,” Slavo concluded.

Major banks have already started drawing up plans for a potential financial calamity, news reports in recent weeks revealed. But Soros was hardly the only heavyweight investor whose recent actions foreshadow potential economic trouble to come.

Another billionaire investment legend, John Paulson, who successfully predicted the sub-prime meltdown and made a fortune in the process, also added a significant amount of gold to his already-gold heavy hedge fund portfolio — an increase of more than 25 percent in the last quarter worth some $700 million, regulatory filings show. Paulson’s largest holdings are in the SPDR Gold Trust, and Bloomberg reported that almost half of his U.S.-traded equities are now tied to bullion.

Read more from this story HERE.

Obama Admin: “Proud” that stimulus produced jobs at $738k each (+video)

Photo credit: merfam

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told The Daily Caller that he is “very proud” of the Economic Recovery Act of 2009 that put 65,000 people to work with $48 billion in federal funds for the Department of Transportation, amounting to $738,461 per job.

The Recovery Act of 2009, which in total cost taxpayers $825 billion, has been criticized because it did not prevent the unemployment rate from rising above 8 percent, contrary to what the Obama administration predicted.

“Yeah, we spent $48 billion and we put 65,000 people to work in 15,000 projects in two years with no problems,” LaHood told The Daily Caller in a video interview in Alexandria, Va., on Friday. “I’m very proud of that. I know that the governors can spend this money because over two years we gave them $48 billion, they created 65,000 jobs in 15,000 projects. This is doable. We’re going to get the money out and get people to work.”

TheDC also asked LaHood about the Obama administration’s decision to send an additional $473 million in unspent earmarks to states.

“You know what? These are old earmarks. There are earmarks that were set aside by members of Congress going back several years,” LaHood said. “We’re in the no earmark era. There are no more earmarks. This money needs to be spent because we need to get people to work.”

General Motors headed for bankruptcy . . . again

President Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors. That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again. The company is once again losing market share, and it seems unable to develop products that are truly competitive in the U.S. market.

Right now, the federal government owns 500,000,000 shares of GM, or about 26% of the company. It would need to get about $53.00/share for these to break even on the bailout, but the stock closed at only $20.21/share on Tuesday. This left the government holding $10.1 billion worth of stock, and sitting on an unrealized loss of $16.4 billion.

Right now, the government’s GM stock is worth about 39% less than it was on November 17, 2010, when the company went public at $33.00/share. However, during the intervening time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen by almost 20%, so GM shares have lost 49% of their value relative to the Dow.

It’s doubtful that the Obama administration would attempt to sell off the government’s massive position in GM while the stock price is falling. It would be too embarrassing politically. Accordingly, if GM shares continue to decline, it is likely that Obama would ride the stock down to zero.

GM is unlikely to hit the wall before the election, but, given current trends, the company could easily do so again before the end of a second Obama term.

Read more from this story HERE.

US Recovery Worst Since at least the Great Depression, foreign debt at record levels

By Paul Wiseman. The recession that ended three years ago this summer has been followed by the feeblest recovery since the Great Depression, according an extensive review of the country’s economic ups and down over the past eight decades.

Since World War II, 10 U.S. recessions have been followed by a recovery that lasted at least three years. An Associated Press analysis shows that by just about any measure, the one that began in June 2009 is the weakest.

The ugliness goes well beyond unemployment, which at 8.3 percent is the highest this long after the end of a recession.

Economic growth has never been weaker in a postwar recovery. Consumer spending has never been so slack. Only once has job growth been slower.

More than in any other post-World War II recovery, people who have jobs are hurting: Their paychecks have fallen behind inflation.

Many economists say the agonizing recovery from the Great Recession, which began in December 2007 during the George W. Bush administration and ended in June 2009, is the predictable consequence of a housing market collapse and a grave financial crisis.  Read more from this story HERE.

U.S. Government’s Foreign Debt Hits Record $5.29 Trillion

By Terence P. Jeffrey.  The money the U.S. government owes to foreign entities rose to a record $5.2923 trillion in June, according to data released by the U.S. Treasury Wednesday afternoon.

In May, the U.S. Treasury had owed $5.2581 trillion to foreign entities. On net, in June, the U.S. government borrowed an additional $34.2 billion from foreign entities in order to fund U.S. government operations.

The U.S. government’s indebtedness to foreign interests has grown by 72.3 percent during President Barack Obama’s term in office. In January 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, the U.S. government owed $3.0717 trillion to foreign entities, according to the Treasury Department. That has increased by $2.2206 trillion—or 72.3 percent—to the record $5.2923 trillion reported for yesterday.

Entities in the People’s Republic of China remain the largest holders of U.S. government debt. Entities in Japan, however, are on track to eclipse the Chinese as the top holders of U.S. government debt.

In June, the Chinese held $1.1643 trillion in U.S. government debt, up slightly from the $1.1640 trillion in U.S. government debt the Chinese held in May. However, Chinese ownership of U.S. government debt hit an historical peaked of $1.3149 trillion in July 2011 and has been on a generally downward trend since then.  Read more from this story HERE.

Video: Newt drills CNN Host-“You’re An Extension of the Obama Campaign”

Gingrich hands Piers Morgan’s hat to him in this interview.  Not only does Gingrich accuse Morgan of, essentially, working for Obama, he eviscerates the Obama record, noting that the US is in the worst recovery in 75 years and that Obama’s approach is “crippling” the poor.