Saturday, August 3, 2013

4 Out of 5 Americans Face Joblessness, Poverty

Rampant Inequality – Which Destroys Economies – Skyrockets to the Highest Levels In History

Associated Press reports that around 80 percent of all Americans deal with joblessness, near poverty, or reliance on welfare at some point in their lives.
AP notes that inequality is going through the roof:
An increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor and loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs [are the likely] reasons for the trend.
The risks of poverty also have been increasing in recent decades, particularly among people ages 35-55, coinciding with widening income inequality.
The U.S. compares very poorly to most other Western industrialized nations:
Washington may pay lip service to reducing inequality. But – as we will show below – bad government policy is largely responsible.

The Hard Facts of Inequality

A who’s-who’s of prominent economists in government and academia have all said that runaway inequality can cause financial crises.
Extreme inequality helped cause the Great Depression, the current financial crisis … and the fall of the Roman Empire.
But inequality in America today is actually twice as bad as in ancient Rome , worse than it was in in Tsarist Russia, Gilded Age America, modern Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, many banana republics in Latin America, and worse than experienced by slaves in 1774 colonial America.
Inequality has grown steadily worse:
Aevrage Household income before taxes.
Gini ratio

It is worse under Obama than under Bush.
A recent study shows that the richest Americans captured more than 100% of all recent income gains. And see this.
There are 2 economies: one for the rich, and the other for everyone else.
Alan Greenspan said:
Our problem basically is that we have a very distorted economy, in the sense that there has been a significant recovery in our limited area of the economy amongst high-income individuals…

House subpoenas Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew for IRS documents

House Republicans on Friday accused Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew of obstructing their investigation into the IRS’s targeting of tea party and conservative groups, and issued subpoenas for more agency documents.
Oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican, sent a scathing latter to Mr. Lew blasting him and President Obama for dismissing the GOP’s claims about IRS targeting as a “phony” scandal, saying that Mr. Lew has “attempted to thwart” his investigation.

“Over two months since the committee first requested documents, the IRS has produced only a small fraction of responsive documents,” Mr. Issa said.
The IRS is an agency within the Treasury Department.
Mr. Issa said he’s willing to work with the agency to tailor his requests for information, but he said the IRS has unilaterally decided to revise the scope of its search of documents. The committee had asked for 81 search terms to be used to identify responsive documents, but the IRS cut that to 12, he said.
In a response sent Friday to an earlier accusation by Mr. Issa and Rep. Jim Jordan, a subcommittee chairman who is also heading the investigation, the IRS bristles at accusations it was stonewalling.

Daniel Werfel, the acting commissioner President Obama tapped to lead the agency, said they are working as fast as they can to produce materials, including having detailed 70 of the agency’s 1,600 lawyers to work full time on reviewing documents to see what can be turned over.
“These attorneys have ramped up from training to full-time review work over the course of the last four weeks and are now fully engaged on this project,” Mr. Werfel wrote.
He also defended the agency’s move to cut out some of the search terms the committee requested, saying that words such as “c3” and “election” are “generic and non-specific” and are used in many tax issues the agency handles.
Also Friday, the House voted 232-185 to strip the Treasury Department and IRS of being able to enforce the new health care law. The vote saw just four Democrats side with Republicans in trying to scrap the IRS’s role.
The Senate is unlikely to consider the bill.
The IRS came under scrutiny when its auditor reported earlier this year that the agency had singled out groups with “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their names for special scrutiny when the groups applied for tax-exempt status. The IRS has acknowledged it asked inappropriate and intrusive questions of the conservative groups.
Democrats argue that progressive groups were also targeted, though it appears not to the same inclusive level as conservatives.
Republican lawmakers have argued the IRS targeting took its cue from President Obama’s policies — though there has been no evidence so far linking the president or the White House to the agency’s decision to give applications extra scrutiny.
Several congressional panels are still investigating, however.
Story Continues →

Obamacare Full Frontal: Of 953,000 Jobs Created In 2013, 77%, Or 731,000 Are Part-Time

When the payroll report was released last month, the world finally noticed what we had been saying for nearly three years: that the US was slowly being converted to a part-time worker society. This slow conversion accelerated drastically in the last few months, and especially in June, when part time jobs exploded higher by 360K while full time jobs dropped by 240K. In July we are sad to report that America's conversation to a part-time worker society is not "tapering": according to the Household Survey, of the 266K jobs created (note this number differs from the establishment survey), only 35% of jobs, or 92K, were full time. The rest were... not.

What is worse, however, is when one looks at job creation broken down by "quality" in all of 2013. The chart below does the bottom line some justice:

But what really shows what is going on in America at least in 2013, is the following summary: of the 953K jobs "created" so far in 2013, only 23%, or 222K, were full-time. Part-time jobs? 731K of the 953K total.

Source: Part-Time and Full-Time and BLS

The Trader Games Are Ending

by Phoenix Capital Research
Traders shot for and managed to hit 1,700 on the S&P 500. At this point, there is no real reason for this other than trader games (start of the month buying).
The rising wedge pattern we’ve been tracking is essentially complete. This final jump in the S&P 500 has been a bounce from the upper trendline. But by the look of things, this is likely the final push.

The biggest driver of equity prices is corporate earnings. The only real reason stocks are moving up is based on the belief that the US economy is about to coming roaring back and corporate profits will soar.
This is a totally misguided viewpoint. Financials are the single biggest contributors for earnings growth in the S&P 500. These earnings are entirely fiction based on accounting gimmicks, not real money being made.
Ex-financials, the S&P 500’s earnings for the second quarter areDOWN 2.3%.
There is a word for this kind of market, it’s BUBBLE.
Take a look at how extended the weekly S&P 500 chart is above the 200-week moving average.

So we have a super overextended stock market on a collapsing economy and weaker corporate profits.
What could go wrong?
The Great Crisis, the one to which 2008 was just a warm up, is approaching. The time to prepare for it is BEFORE the US stock market bubble bursts.

For more market insights and commentary, visit us at:
Best Regards
Graham Summers

Richard B. Hoey, Chief Economist, Bank of New York Mellon – The Fed is Manipulating

At 9:50 in – Hoey, Chief Economist, BNY Mellon “it’s about manipulating long-term interest rates. if i manipulate securities prices, that’s called a crime. if Ben Bernanke manipulates it, that’s called long-term policy. “GIVE THAT MAN AN OSCAR”…

Warning: Possibility Of A False Flag Event In The Next 30 Days

The job numbers are out and they are not as good as everyone believes, the unemployment rate went down but the number of part time jobs increase and the number of people who are not looking anymore has increased. Washington has issued a warning around the globe, all embassy’s will be closed and all American citizens traveling are being warned. Be prepared for a false flag event.
Fair Use Notice: This video contains some copyrighted material whose use has not been authorized by the copyright owners. We believe that this not-for-profit, educational, and/or criticism or commentary use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Fair Use notwithstanding we will immediately comply with any copyright owner who wants their material removed or modified, wants us to link to their web site, or wants us to add their photo.

New Rudd Government tax on bank deposits will hit you

Phillip Hudson and Stephen McMahon
The Advertiser
August 2, 2013
BANKS are expected to cut interest on deposits to make up for $733 million being taken by the Rudd Government as an insurance levy that will prop up its embattled Budget.
The “savings tax” would mean a customer with a $100,000 deposit could lose $4 a month in interest.
But the Government says the typical household has $10,000 in the bank and the loss would be less than 50c a month.
The change, to be announced in today’s mini-Budget by Treasurer Chris Bowen, could spark a battle with the banks who say the .05 per cent levy is unnecessary.
Senior banking sources last night told the Herald Sun it was likely to be passed on directly to customers.
The change will apply to deposits of up to $250,000 for each account in banks, mutual banks and credit unions from January 2016.
More than $4 billion was wiped from the value of the nation’s major banks yesterday on fears the levy will crimp earnings and hurt dividend payouts and superannuation.
Shares in the Commonwealth Bank – Australia’s biggest savings bank with a deposit book of more than $170 billion – fell 1.5 per cent.
The bank tax is being made on the advice of Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens and the International Monetary Fund to build up a buffer to protect deposits if a bank was to fail.
Today’s mini-Budget will also contain a $5.3 billion increase in tobacco tax.
The smokes tax will increase the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes by $5.25 over four years.
In just three months since the Budget was handed down, the revenue that was expected has deteriorated by about $20 billion.
Mr Bowen will announce more spending cuts to plug the hole and stay on track to return to surplus by 2016-17.
“That does require some difficult decisions, he said.
“But we’re not going to cut right back to the bone, we’re not going to cut basic services, we’re not going to cut schools and hospitals.”
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the Government couldn’t control its spending.
“Whether it is a bank deposit tax, whether it is an increase in cigarette tax, it’s all a hit on you,” he said.
After meeting Mr Bowen yesterday, Australian Bankers’ Association chief executive Steven Munchenberg warned the proposal was “unnecessary” and would hurt depositors.
“We already have a very safe and well capitalised banking system,” he said.
“We don’t support it and don’t think it is valid and it is ultimately likely to be passed on to customers.”
Under existing rules, if a bank collapsed the Government would cover the cost of protecting deposits by winding it up, and could put a levy on other banks.
The change would collect money gradually into a special fund as insurance against any crisis, but would also improve the Budget bottom line by $733 million.
Households have just over $600 billion on deposit, according to the latest data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
This is almost double the pre-GFC period when they hit a low of $307 billion.
Analysts warned any knocks to confidence in the banking sector would be bad for the economy and bank stocks in particular.
Australia’s big four banks generated more than $13 billion in profits in the first six months of this financial year.
Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb said today’s economic statement will be “an emergency mini-budget, because on the eve of an election the chickens have finally come home to roost.
“They’ve constantly over-egged revenue forecasts and cry ‘woe is me’ when money doesn’t come in,” he said.

Plan for New Nuclear Plant Dropped But Public Gets Fleeced $1.5 Billion

Photo: Everglades Earth First!/cc/flickr In a blow to the so-called “nuclear renaissance,” Duke Energy announced on Thursday it was shelving its plans for a nuclear power plant in Levy County, Florida.
That’s the good news.
Advocacy group Southern Alliance for Clean Energy states that cost estimates for the Levy plant were $5 billion in 2007 but later skyrocketed over 400 percent, while the start date listed in 2007 was for 2015-16, but got pushed back as late as 2025.
But the corporation was able to push the financial risks of the nuclear power plant onto customers.
Customers have already shelled out $1.5 billion for the plant, the Associated Press reports, and, as an irate Robert Trigaux writes in a Tampa Bay Times column, “no, Florida customers, you’re not getting any of that money back.”
It gets worse, FlaglerLive reports, because customers are going to continue getting fleeced by the corporation for the plant:
[T]he News Service of Florida reports that an agreement that took effect this year will allow Duke to continue recovering some Levy-related money through 2017 — an amount that translates to $3.45 a month for a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. In addition, customers will be required to pay as much as $1.466 billion over 20 years to cover continuing costs at the shuttered plant, such as costs related to making sure the building is safe and stable. But Rehwinkel, Glenn and Jon Moyle, an attorney for the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, said the agreement will require Duke to write down $295 million in costs — which essentially shifts responsibility for that amount from customers to company shareholders.
As the Tampa Bay Times reports, profits for Duke from the Levy project were never in doubt:
Last year, a Times report detailed how Duke would profit from the plant whether it got built or not. Duke would make a fixed percentage of whatever it spent on the project. So, the more it spent, the more it made – whether or not the plant got built.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
Republished from: Common Dreams

Ten Atrocities that would not exist without Usury

by on August 2, 2013
30 million people starve per year, poor countries pay up to ten times more interest on their foreign debts than they receive in development aid.
30 million people starve per year, poor countries pay up to ten times more interest on their foreign debts than they receive in development aid.
Poverty amid plenty. Mainly a result of money scarcity through Usury
Poverty amid plenty. Mainly a result of money scarcity through Usury
We have relegated our children to indentured servitude. Without a second thought.
We have relegated our children to indentured servitude. Without a second thought.
All the Usury ultimately ends up with people already owning Trillions. It feeds their avarice, burning away their souls.
All the Usury ultimately ends up with people already owning Trillions. It feeds their avarice, burning away their souls.
They are poisoning our food because there are too many of us. We are buying it, because we need to cut cost to pay off the Usurer. Transnationals would not exist if the many had exist to interest-free capital.
They are poisoning our food because there are too many of us. We are buying it, because we need to cut cost to pay off the Usurer. Transnationals would not exist if the many had exist to interest-free capital.
More and more needs to be monetized to pay off ever higher cost for capital. We are rapaciously plundering Mother Nature, destroying our own habitat.
More and more needs to be monetized to pay off ever higher cost for capital. We are rapaciously plundering Mother Nature, destroying our own habitat.
While we are working harder and harder to pay off the interest on our escalating debts (calling it 'independence' and 'self-realization'), we are deserting those that need care, our elders and children.
While we are working harder and harder to pay off the interest on our escalating debts (calling it ‘independence’ and ‘self-realization’), we are deserting those that need care, our elders and children.
The Usurer is behind the sexualization and degeneration of the Public Domain. He needs us to be distracted by our carnal nature so we won't notice our demise.
The Usurer is behind the sexualization and degeneration of the Public Domain. He needs us to be distracted by our carnal nature so we won’t notice our demise.
Wars exist because they create debt and satisfy the demonic forces that have colonized our leaders, who have become power-crazy because of their Usurpation.
Wars exist because they create debt and satisfy the demonic forces that have colonized our leaders, who have become power-crazy because of their Usurpation.
They are working towards a Global Government. A grandiose Despotism that will finally externalize the Usurer's Hierarchy.
They are working towards a Global Government. A grandiose Despotism that will finally externalize the Usurer’s Hierarchy.

Obama creates twice as many food stamp dependants than new jobs

(NaturalNews) New government economic and employment figures released July 31 produced much enthusiasm among the corporate establishment media up and down the Washington, D.C.-New York City corridor, but outside the beltway in flyover country - that would be the rest of the United States - that there economy isn't looking nearly so glitzy. And what's more, the administration's spin on it is shockingly disingenuous, but we expect that from this White House by now.

Ten days earlier, on July 21, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney crowed that his bosses' administration had successfully pulled the nation from the bowels of the "Great Recession" by creating some 7.2 million private sector jobs.

"And what is absolutely true is that we have come a long way since the depths of the Great Recession. We've created over 7.2 million private sector jobs," Carney told reporters at a press briefing.

'We're the greatest administration in history! Blah, blah, blah.'

Welfare, food stamps, disability and jobs - which one of those has not risen?

Yeah, well, there was plenty that Carney did not say - much of which is well known and understood by tens of millions of downtrodden Americans. Per

-- While the administration boasts of 7.2 million jobs created, since February 2009 - Obama's first full month in office - some 9.5 million Americans have either lost jobs or dropped out of the workforce completely, for a net loss of 2.3 million jobs. Some 90 million Americans are not employed today.

-- That has significant implications for the economy, true, but also for the federal government. Think of the income tax revenue that is not flowing into the Treasury Department - which is worsening the federal deficit.

-- Based on these figures, 1.3 Americans have dropped out of the labor force for every one job the White House claims it created.

-- Since Obama took office, 15 million more Americans are on food stamps now. In fact, about one-third of Americans - more than 100 million - are now on some form of federal assistance. "The total amount spent on federal welfare programs, when taken together with approximately $280 billion in state contributions, amounts to roughly $1 trillion. Nearly 95 percent of these costs come from four categories of spending: medical assistance, cash assistance, food assistance, and social/housing assistance," the Independent Journal Review reports.

Per CNS News:

At the end of January 2009, 32,204,859 Americans received aid from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. As of April 2013, there were 47,548,694 Americans on food stamps. That means that more than two Americans have been added to the food stamp rolls for every one job the administration says it has created.

-- A record number of Americans are also on disability. "Under Obama, 1.6 million more Americans are collecting disability insurance. In February 2009, 9,334,369 Americans received disability payments. Today, that number is 10,953,733," CNS News said.

Job creation data not much better

What about the latest economic numbers? Is there a silver lining there? In a word, no.

Job growth has been as anemic as economic growth in the months since the "great recovery" supposedly began. The latest figures show that the U.S. economy grew a paltry 1.7 percent last quarter, up from a barely-breathing 1.1 percent in the January-March timeframe, a growth rate The Associated Press would only bring itself to describe as "sluggish".

Pathetic is more accurate.

And job growth?

The government said some 200,000 jobs were created last month. But that's less than half of the number of jobs created, on average, during the latter 1980s and 1990s. Also, it's barely more than the number of people we are adding to the workforce each month. Combined with those who are trying to find a job, you begin to see just how pathetic this "recovery" is.

Obama says he's focused - again - on job growth, but as usual his solution is no solution - "let government lead the way."

We can see how well that's worked out.

Line up and prepare for the next bailout in student debt: Student loan debt crosses the $1.2 trillion mark. $248,000 for an undergraduate degree?

The nation is fully engulfed in a student debt bubble.  The problems with student debt are numerous yet this unrelenting bubble is allowed to grow like weeds in a garden.  Going back to 2000 total student debt outstanding rested around $200 billion.  Today it is over $1.2 trillion.  Keep in mind that during this time household incomes have retreated back to what they were in the mid-1990s.  So college costs more but you earn less.  Sounds like a winning recipe!  Compounding this debt bubble is the reality that half of college graduates are working in jobs that don’t employ their undergraduate degrees.  I continuously see that college graduates have a lower unemployment rate compared to others but in many cases this means a Starbucks job was given to someone with a college degree versus one without a degree.  I’m not sure that will be a big help when paying back $50,000 or $100,000 in student debt.

The delinquencies only get worse
Even though the problems are festering student debt is becoming a problematic liability class:
Student Loan delinquencies by age
What is disturbing is that delinquencies have only gotten worse throughout the so-called recovery.  For those under 30, the amount of student debt that is delinquent is upwards of 35 percent.  The lights are flashing red that a problem is definitely here.
What is equally troubling is the fact that student debt is now the most problematic debt class in the United States (for consumer debt):
This is not a good sign.  Yet the unrelenting lending continues unabated.  All of the $1.2 trillion (minus 15%) is owned or backed by the government.  Great!  So gear up for another bailout.  When you chart out the growth of student debt merely in the last decade you realize that something is amiss here:
There is a big disconnect somewhere in the system.  College graduates are paying more yet earning less.  You see a near mutiny in the law school ranks since many lawyers are graduating with mortgage like debt and are competing for entry level positions unrelated to law.
Underutilization of degrees
Over half of college graduates are working careers where their degree is not being utilized.  Take a look at this chart:
Obviously having a well-rounded academic background is important to being an intelligent human being.  But is it necessary to pay $50,000 per year for this?  What is it truly worth?  Many will argue that education is priceless and given what some are willing to pay, I think many believe this fully.
The above chart should cause you to pause.  What does it tell you that over 50 percent of college graduates are underemployed in the US?  Even more problematic, how is this going on during a stock market boom?  In reality, wages are being squeezed and you have many college graduates simply beating out lower skilled competition for those employment numbers.
Education is absolutely valuable.  Yet consider that it now costs $62,000 a year to go to NYU:
“(Daily Mail) A list released by the Department of Education lists the colleges and universities with the highest tuition in the country.
New York University, NYU is the country’s most expensive school with tuition costing $61,977 a year.”
Do the math here:  $62,000 x 4 = $248,000
So for 4-years assuming the listed tuition, someone is going to pay out nearly a quarter-million dollars?!  Sure sounds reasonable to me given that one third of Americans have no savings and half are living paycheck to paycheck.  Then you wonder why student loans are now the most problematic consumer debt class in America.

THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE: Inside Hawaii's Giant Homeless Community [PHOTOS]

When the governor of Hawaii announced his plan this week to buy the state's homeless one-way tickets to the continental U.S., it was the latest in a series of efforts aimed at curbing the Aloha State's massive homeless problem.
Low wages and high-priced housing have given Hawaii the third-largest homeless population per capita in the country. More than 7,500 people live on Oahu's streets and beaches, but a large number of them are native Hawaiians and they don't want to go anywhere.
The native communities in Hawaii are often the poorest and border toxic landfills, chemical research facilities, and pesticide test crops. Waianae is Oahu's largest native community and has more homeless than anywhere else in the state.
Business Insider visited Waianae in mid-July and toured the largest tent city there. The following photos offer a glimpse of what life is like for the homeless in Hawaii.

More than 700,000 people visited Hawaii in June 2013 and spent $1.3 billion in one month alone.

Twelve hundred people a day visited during the first half of 2013 and spent $2.6 million every 24 hours.

Hawaii's almost 8 million visitors spent more than $14 billion in 2012 and visited Oahu more than any other island.

But Oahu has a side most tourists never see.

Just two miles from this plush Oahu country club and world-class golfing ...

... spread along the beach …

... in the largely native town of Waianae …

… is the single largest homeless encampment in the United States.

Up to 300 people live here at any given time. Most of them are native Hawaiians faced with a high cost of living and low-wage jobs.

Samson Kama lives in Waianae and helps deliver food to camp residents each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Kama says 90% of the 200 people now in the tent city are native Hawaiians and have no desire to take the state's offer of a free plane ticket off the islands.

The islands are their home whether they have a house or not.

The homeless in camp range in age from the very young ...

... to the not so young.

Kama, on the right, arranged a tour of the camp with three-year tent city resident Loke.

Kama, on the right, arranged a tour of the camp with three-year tent city resident Loke.
Robert Johnson

Loke spoke about life on the streets as she led us past the marina ...

... across this parking lot …

… down this trail …

… and into a world most visitors to Hawaii have no idea exists.

Hawaii has the third-largest homeless population per capita in the country.

This Waianae tent community is just one of many in this native town. Together they contain 1,000 to 4,000 people.

Many of them are children.

Loke says nine kids live in this tent with their parents.

Some people here have jobs, but don't earn wages great enough to afford rent in a market that hasn't had so little available housing in decades.

A school backs up to the camp.

A school backs up to the camp.
Google Maps

The Hawaii Medical Journal estimates there are up to 700 kids in Waianae's tent cities.

Able to walk to class, kids here are lucky that they can lead typical lives and play sports while living outside.

Thirteen-year-old camp resident Maelia says, "It's just camping. That's what we tell other kids at school."

Maelia keeps a small offering here on the shore that she maintains and sets right before coming back to join our tour.

She lives in this camp with her mother and three-year-old brother, Christian ...

... and her grandfather.

Together they manage to earn a bit of money and most importantly to them, they are together and not separated in shelters and subject to government bureaucracy.

Aside from donations the people here rely on the sea for much of what they eat. The tail of a large Marlin caught by friends hangs at the entrance to the family's camp

A shark-tooth necklace hangs on a nearby tree for good luck.

And a road sign serves as decoration beside the ubiquitous water bottles that residents haul in from the neighboring marina.

Maelia's camp is just behind this bus stop.

The 13-year-old explains that she helps some of the younger kids to and from school.

Maelia attends school as well, but spends a lot of time making necklaces from shells that she sells to tourists.

Maelia worries about her brother and what life will be like for him if she were to ever leave.

This is the only childhood Christian has ever known.

But camp life can be dangerous, especially for young kids.

Not everyone is as friendly or social as her family is.

Drug and alcohol use is not uncommon.

Camp life is not without an ominous tone and the land is said to have a dark history.

Loke tells us that residents avoid this spot after dark. "There are ghosts here," she says. The Chinese mafia dumped bodies in the nearby Manoa Valley for years and this is rumored to have been one of their favorite places for ditching a corpse.

Dark history aside, there is no place else the native Hawaiians in Waianae would rather be.

There is a sense of place here not found in many other tent communities.

A sense of optimism if not a bit of hope.

All the free one-way tickets to the continental U.S. won't mean a thing to the people here.

If the government won't do enough to help native Hawaiians have homes, they at least take care of each other.

They'll look out for each other's kids.

End their days together, and nurse a bit of hope for tomorrow.