CONTRA EL PINGALISMO CASTRISTA/ "Se que no existe el consuelo que no existe la anhelada tierrra de mis suenos ni la desgarrada vision de nuestros heroes. Pero te seguimos buscando, patria,..." - Reinaldo Arenas

Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta EEUU Economia. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta EEUU Economia. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, agosto 28, 2014

WELFARE NATION Census: One-third of Americans getting benefits


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miércoles, agosto 13, 2014

China Appears Ready to Dump Its U.S. Treasury Bonds

Although investors hang on every comment by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen to get insight on the direction of interest rates and what it means for the economy and asset prices, the real power to determine U.S. interest rates may be in the hands of China, according to Lombard Street Research. Facing an overvalued currency that is hurting corporate profits and slowing growth, China appears ready to dump its $1.3 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds to drive U.S. interest rates up and strengthen the dollar.

The secret to China’s spectacular growth beginning in the early 1990s was devaluing its currency to the U.S. dollar from 2.8 Chinese yuan to 8.7 yuan. The devaluation cut the cost of Chinese labor by 68% and launched the cheap labor manufacturing boom. Exports as a percent of GDP grew from about 13% in 1994 to 39% of GDP in 2007.
With the export boom causing huge labor demand, approximately 200 million rural Chinese moved to cities from to 2000 to 2007. During the period, China’s Shanghai Stock Index vaulted 330%, while the U.S. S&P Index was only up 11%.
However, since 2006, the Federal Reserve and both the Bush and Obama administrations have pursued weak-dollar policies by pushing interest rates down. This caused the exchange rate of the dollar to weaken and the yuan to strengthen from 8.3 yuan to 6 yuan to the dollar. The +28% currency increase hammered Chinese competitiveness, and exports fell from 39% to 26% of GDP of the Chinese economy.
China tried to slow the fall of the dollar by increasing its holdings in U.S. Treasury bonds from $400 billion in 2007 to $1.33 trillion at the end of 2013. Despite spending almost a trillion dollars on U.S. Treasury purchases, the weak-dollar policy caused the Shanghai Index to fall by 38%. During the same period the U.S. S&P Index rose 199%.
As the overvalued yuan caused China export competitiveness to evaporate, China has tried to “rebalance its economy” to avoid massive unemployment by shifting to service industries. However, “an expensive currency in a world of weak demand makes it impossible for China to rebalance its economy without a collapse,” according to Lombard.
China’s $1.3 trillion of U.S. Treasury bonds sounds like 7% of the $17.7 trillion U.S. federal debt outstanding, but a third of the debt was supposedly “purchased” by the U.S. government to back Social Security and other purposes. Of the net U.S. public debt outstanding, China owns about one in every seven dollars of U.S. Treasury Bonds.
“For a long time the threat that Beijing might sell US Treasuries rang hollow, but no longer,” according to Lombard. “Growth trouble across the Pacific may have a much bigger impact on US yields in 2015 and 2016 than the expected pace of US central bank tightening” from the Federal Reserve, they argue.
The People’s Bank of China in November of 2013 announced it was ending its purchase of U.S. Treasury bonds. When China sold $48 billion in Treasuries in January, the yuan weakened by 5% to 6.3 yuan to the dollar. China has recently been intervening in the foreign exchange market to prevent the yuan from strengthening.
Although the International Monetary Fund estimates that the yuan is still 5-10% undervalued, Lombard believes that China’s currency is 15-25% overvalued to the U.S. dollar. The easiest way for China to solve the overvaluation problem would be to “liberalize capital flows” by removing restrictions that limit Chinese investments to bank savings accounts and real estate. But, according to Lombard, “if Beijing opened the flood gates, asset diversification would cause huge outflows that would swamp inflows.” Such action could trigger a Chinese banking crisis.
A smooth sale of its U.S. Treasury bond portfolio by China would push up U.S. 10-year Treasury bond yields by up to ½% and U.S. interest rates by about 1%. The People’s Bank of China could intervene in the currency markets to smooth the yuan’s decline. This action “would slow but not derail the US recovery.”
However, yuan devaluation and higher U.S. rates would be a lethal combination for the Eurozone competitiveness. Most European countries have modestly improved their trade positions with China thanks to softer consumer spending, which has capped imports. A much weaker yuan and higher U.S. interest rates would devastate peripheral European economies that compete with China for lower value-added manufacturing.
The weakening of the U.S. dollar that began in 2007 may have precipitated the 2008 global financial crisis. China would prefer to not start another international currency crisis. However, desperate to weaken the yuan to restart growth and support employment, China, Lombard Street Research believes, will soon start dumping U.S. Treasury bonds.

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martes, agosto 12, 2014

U.S. Wages Down 23% Since 2008

U.S. jobs pay an average 23% less today than they did before the 2008 recession, according to a new report released on Monday by the United States Conference of Mayors.

In total, the report found $93 billion in lost wages. 
Jobs lost during the recession paid an average $61,637. As of 2014, jobs in the same sectors paid an average of $47,171 annually. 
"Under a similar analysis conducted by the Conference of Mayors during the 2001-2002 recession, the wage gap was only 12% compared to the current 23%--meaning the wage gap has nearly doubled from one recession to the next," stated the Conference of Mayors in a statement.  
The report also found that 73% of metro area households earn salaries of less than $35,000 a year. 
President Barack Obama, who is on a two-week vacation at Martha's Vineyard, has yet to comment on the dour economic findings.

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martes, agosto 05, 2014

America’s weakness


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lunes, marzo 10, 2014

Senator Marco Rubio Proposes New Economic Growth Agenda

SenatorMarcoRubio


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lunes, marzo 03, 2014

A History Of The Minimum Wage

TIME
 

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jueves, enero 23, 2014

Why many Americans cannot make much money - O'Reilly


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viernes, enero 17, 2014

U.S. Seven Devastating Economic Facts

U.S. economic conditions in 2014 continue to languish, as millions of Americans remain jobless. Seven economic facts underscore America’s increasingly dire economic outlook.

1. A Record 91.8 Million Americans Are No Longer in the Workforce
The latest Labor Department figures reveal that a record 91.8 million Americans are no longer in the U.S. labor force. To be included in the Labor Department's calculations for this statistic, a person must be 16 years or older, a civilian, not in an institution (such as prison), and someone who has not looked for a job in the last four weeks.
Minorities have been hit especially hard. As Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research noted to PBS, last month’s jobs report also saw “the lowest rate of labor force participation among African-American men since we have kept that count. So that was really striking.”
According to the U.S. Census, 317 million people live in the United States.
2. Since Jan. 2009, the Number of Jobless Working-Age Americans Has Risen 9.6 Million People
As Michael Snyder notes:
The number of working age Americans that do not have a job has increased by nearly 10 million since Barack Obama first entered the White House. In January 2009, the number of "officially unemployed" workers plus the number of Americans "not in the labor force" was sitting at a grand total of 92.6 million. Today, that number has risen to 102.2 million. That means that the number of working age Americans that are not working has grown by close to 10 million since Barack Obama first took office.
3.  47.4 Million Americans Now Rely on Food Stamps
The Department of Agriculture, which oversees the food stamp program, says that 47,415,895 Americans – roughly one out of every six Americans – now receives food stamps. Indeed, for the last fifteen consecutive months, the number of individuals has consistently stayed above 47 million, a first in U.S. history.
Food stamp enrollments, which are considered an indicator of economic distress, have skyrocketed in recent years as the Obama administration has loosened eligibility requirements and aggressively promoted enrollments. In January 2009, 31.9 million people received food stamps.
4. A Record 10.98 Million Americans Now Receive Disability Checks
Social Security data reveal that a record 10,988,269 Americans now receive a monthly check for an average $1,146.43. Several recent studies and investigations have revealed that the nation’s disability program is rife with fraud and abuse.
When health care for disabled workers is included, U.S. taxpayers now spend $260 billion a year funding the disability program – a figure that exceeds the amount spent on food stamps and welfare combined.
5.  Nearly One in Three Americans Fell into Poverty Between 2009-2011
A new Census Bureau report released last week found that 31.6% of Americans fell beneath the federal poverty line for at least two months between 2009 to 2011, a 4.5% increase over the 2005 to 2007 period.
6.  42% of Americans Believe Themselves Worse Off Financially than a Year Ago
Gallup on Wednesday released its latest “Mood of the Nation” poll that found that 42% of Americans say they are worse off financially than they were a year ago, a number that has grown over the last two years.
7. U.S. Debt Now Stands at over $17.3 Trillion
America’s federal debt explosion continues unabated. In Jan. 2009, the national debt was $10.626 trillion. Today, America’s national debt stands at over $17,300,000,000,000.

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jueves, octubre 17, 2013

Sen. Rubio: The Real Crisis Remains

SenatorMarcoRubio

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sábado, mayo 04, 2013

Stocks end at historic highs, spurred by upbeat jobs data

 
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Stocks closed out the week with a bang, with the Dow briefly topping 15,000 for the first time, as Wall Street cheered a better-than-expected April employment report.
All three major indexes -- the Dow Jones industrials, the broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq -- finished sharply higher for the week, with the Dow and S&P advancing to all-time closing highs.
"It's going to be the first time we put two weeks together in a row to the upside in about eight weeks…so that's the good news," said Art Hogan, managing director at Lazard Capital Markets. "The bad news is that we've run out of catalysts next week—earnings season is virtually over and the macro is very quiet."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up about 143 points, propelled by Caterpillar and Alcoa. Earlier, the index crossed above 15,000 for the first time. It took the blue-chip index nearly six years to cross 15,000 after it first topped 14,000.
The S&P 500 easily surpassed 1,600 and the Nasdaq also rallied. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, slumped below 13.
Most key S&P sectors ended in positive territory, led by materials and energy. Telecoms slipped.
U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, according to the Labor Department, while the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.5 percent. Economists in a Reuters poll expected a reading of 145,000 and unemployment to hold steady at 7.6 percent.
"The [jobs] number beat consensus and also importantly, the revision from last month tells the story of a not-as-sluggish labor market," said Troy Logan, managing director and senior economist at Warren Financial Service. "However, the unemployment rate is still high. So that tells us that the Fed is going to continue with its accommodative policy – that means we have Fed support, which is good for asset prices and a jobs market which is not getting worse."
On Wednesday, the Fed said it was prepared to "increase or reduce" the monthly pace of its $85 billion in bond purchases, after its Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting.
Global markets cheered the employment report, with European shares turning decisively higher and the dollar jumping against the euro and the yen. Oil prices rallied, while gold, often viewed as a safe haven, slid near $1,460 an ounce. Treasury prices also declined.
More than 80 percent of S&P 500 companies have posted quarterly results so far, with 68 percent topping earnings expectations and 21 percent missing forecasts, according to Reuters. If all remaining companies post numbers in line with estimates, earnings will be up 5.2 percent on last year.
But on average, sales have come in 1 percent below estimates, with only 46 percent of companies beating their revenue projections.
Reuters contributed to this report.

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lunes, abril 29, 2013

Report: Obama Spent Twice as Much Time on Vacation/Golf as Economy

According to a new report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute (GAI), President Barack Obama has spent over twice as many hours on vacation and golf (976 hours) as he has in economic meetings of any kind (474.4 hours).

The report, “Presidential Calendar: A Time-Based Analysis,” used the official White House calendar, Politico’s comprehensive presidential calendar, and media reports through March 31, 2013 to calculate its results.
GAI’s findings may actually understate Obama’s recreational hours.
Last year, Obama told CBS News that playing golf is “the only time that for six hours, I'm outside." But instead of six hours, GAI counted a round of golf as taking just four hours. Likewise, for presidential vacation hours, researchers attributed just six hours of any day of vacation to leisure activity.
“Like most people, presidents still do work while on vacation,” said GAI President Peter Schweizer. “So we really went out of our way to fairly and accurately reflect how the president spends his time.”
The study applied a similarly generous assessment to Obama’s time spent in economic meetings by counting anything on the official White House calendar even remotely related to the economy as an economic meeting. For example, “Obama meets with Cabinet secretaries” and “Obama has lunch with four CEOs” counted as economic meetings.
GAI’s new report dovetails with its presidential calendar analysis last July that found Obama devotes little time to economic meetings.  
Asked whether the latest numbers paint a negative portrait of presidential economic leadership, Schweizer says that is for others to decide.
“People understand that presidents have the most stressful job in the world and need a break from time to time,” said Schweizer. “There will be some who will be encouraged by the numbers and some who will wish the president spent more time in economic meetings. As a government watchdog group, we just tabulate the numbers and let others decide how to interpret them.”

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lunes, abril 15, 2013

Ninety days of destruction from the Obama White House

The economic news in America has gone from bad to worse. 
First, we found out the jobs numbers are collapsing. Then retail sales figures were released- they show across the board contraction. 
Next, we found out U.S. business inventory figures were a disappointment. 
Finally, consumer confidence not only collapsed, but it was the largest miss from expectations in U.S. economic history. 2 words explain it all: "Ninety days."
Creating jobs in Obama's America is like trying to grow healthy plants in a nuclear blast zone.
Ninety days is all it took to put the U.S. economy into a coma, to destroy any chance of recovery. 90 days defined by the Obama "Axis of Evil” -- Taxation, regulation, unionization, litigation, IRS intimidation, demonization, and government strangulation. The last 90 days of this Axis of Evil have sealed our fate.
There are no new jobs. There will be no new jobs. Creating jobs in Obama's America is like trying to grow healthy plants in a nuclear blast zone. Obama has turned the U.S. economy into a “Hostile Work Environment.” I call it Obamageddon. 
Look at the toxic results of what has happened in the last deadly 90 days. Last month we added a miserable 88,000 jobs. 660,000 Americans dropped off the job rolls...in one month
Ninety million working-age, able-bodied Americans are no longer in the workforce. The workforce participation rate is the lowest since 1979. For men it’s the lowest since 1948 (when record keeping began). Disposable income in January was the lowest since 1959 (since record-keeping began). Under Obama we’re truly back to the future.
Twenty-percent of eligible adults are on food stamps. Fourteen million on disability. Record-setting numbers of Americans are breaking into their own retirement accounts just to survive. Student loan debt is a disaster -- with defaults up 36% from a year ago. 16.4 million Americans live in poverty…in the suburbs.
You’re on your own as the American economy descends into darkness, overwhelmed by debt and entitlements. 
Obama and the mainstream media have been blowing smoke for months, but the gig is up. No recovery is coming.
Let’s take a look at what Obama did to “save us” in the past 90 days:
- Federal income taxes went up dramatically on business owners (ie jobs creators). 
- Payroll taxes went up. 
- Exemptions and deductions were taken away. 
- ObamaCare taxes took effect. State and local taxes went up across the USA. 
- Gas prices went up drastically -- even as we learned Obama’s EPA wants new gas taxes.
- Grocery prices soared. 
- Health insurance soared. For many small businesses we learned it will double next year. 
- Electric rates went up -- as we learned that Obama’s EPA doubled biofuel taxes, while also trying to eradicate the coal industry and ban oil drilling. 
- IRS audits went up dramatically on business owners (which means higher accountant and legal bills).
Add it up: There’s no money left. Even “the rich” feel poor. The middle class is drowning. Small business is under attack. How can anyone spend if they have no money left after Obama's relentless taxes? Where is the money coming from to start a business?
But it gets even worse. In those same 90 days, the government created 6,118 new rules and regulations. That’s 68 per day. 
To produce that many job-killing regulations, Obama must have sweatshops populated with  slave labor, whipped and kept in chains, working in shifts 24 hours per day. Obama is literally killing the spirit of business owners and taxpayers.
Obama is like a drug addict with giant bills to pay and no income. He has to find a way to pay for his food stamps, disability and unemployment society. 
The bill to keep this Ponzi scheme going gets bigger by the hour. But with 90 million adults no longer working, and everyone who is willing to work being robbed to pay for a nation of deadbeats, who is left to jump-start the economy? Who is left to create jobs? The answer is…clearly…no one.
Even more shocking and depressing are Obama’s priorities. He claims we desperately need to raise all these taxes. 
Yet, our president had no problem giving away $250 million to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, $500 million to the Palestinians, $1.5 million in grant money to study why lesbians are fat (I’m not kidding), and billions of dollars in income tax credits to illegal aliens (who never paid income taxes in the first place). And you wonder why people are angry and disillusioned?
This has been 90 days for the history books. Ninety days that have made an economic collapse much more likely than a recovery. Ninety days that has put capitalism and American exceptionalism on life support.
Ninety days of the Obama "Axis of Evil” showcasing what one man, supported by a blind, adoring liberal-biased media, can do to snuff out ambition, drive, work ethic, creativity, inspiration and enthusiasm -- all in the name of equality, fairness and social justice.
Ninety days that will live in infamy. My book "The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide" is out today. Just in time -- because now it's a fight for survival.
Wayne Allyn Root is capitalist evangelist, entrepreneur, and Libertarian-conservative Republican. He is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. Wayne's latest book will be published on April 15: "The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide: Secrets to Protecting Your Family, Your Finances, and Your Freedom." For more, visit his website: www.ROOTforAmerica.com. Follow him on Twitter@WayneRoot.

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miércoles, abril 10, 2013

The Obama Plan: More Spending + Tax Hikes + SS Cuts = Lots of Anger

President Obama found himself weathering bipartisan broadsides Wednesday as he sent Congress his 2014 budget proposal, which in its effort to please both sides of the aisle has ended up angering both. 
The budget arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning, delivered 65 days after the legal deadline. The $3.77 trillion spending plan, which is over 2,000 pages, tries to curb deficits by further raising taxes on top earners and reining in the growth of Social Security. 
But Republicans argue they already consented to increased taxes as part of the fiscal crisis deal and have expressed little interest in negotiating another hike. And liberal Democrats -- particularly powerful advocacy groups -- have launched a series of campaigns to oppose the changes to Social Security. 
The president's proposal being unveiled Wednesday includes an additional $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, bringing total deficit savings to $4.3 trillion, based on the administration's calculations. It projects that the deficit for the 2014 budget year, which begins Oct. 1, would fall to $744 billion. That would be the lowest gap between spending and revenue since 2008. 
The president's plan tracks an offer he made to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, during December's budget negotiations, which Boehner ended up walking away from because of his opposition to higher taxes on the wealthy. 
The Obama budget proposal will join competing budget outlines already approved by the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-run Senate. 
The most sweeping proposal in Obama's budget is a switch in the way the government calculates the annual cost-of-living adjustments for the millions of recipients of Social Security and other government benefit programs. The current method of measuring increases in the consumer price index would be modified to track a process known as chained CPI. 
The new method takes into account changes that occur when people substitute goods rising in price with less expensive products. It results in slightly lower annual reading for inflation. 
The switch in the inflation formula would cut spending on government benefit programs by $130 billion over 10 years, although the administration said it planned to protect the most vulnerable, including the very elderly. The change would also raise about $100 billion in higher taxes because the current CPI formula is used to adjust tax brackets each year. A lower inflation measure would mean more money taxed at higher rates. 
In the tax area, Obama would raise an additional $580 billion by restricting deductions for the top 2 percent of family incomes. The budget would also implement the "Buffett Rule" requiring that households with incomes of more than $1 million pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. Charitable giving would be excluded. 
Obama's plan is not all about budget cuts. It also includes an additional $50 billion to fund infrastructure investments, including $40 billion in a "Fix It First" effort to provide immediate investments to repair highways, bridges, transit systems and airports nationwide. 
Obama's budget would also provide $1 billion to launch a network of 15 manufacturing innovation institutes across the country, and it earmarks funding to support high-speed rail projects. 
The president also is proposing establishment of program to offer preschool to all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families, with the money to support the effort coming from increased taxes on tobacco products. 
The administration said its proposals to increase spending would not increase the deficit but rather are paid for either by increasing taxes or making deeper cuts to other programs. 
Among the proposed cuts, the administration wants to trim defense spending by an additional $100 billion and domestic programs by an extra $100 billion over the next decade. 
The budget proposes cutting $400 billion from Medicare and other health care programs over a decade. The cuts would come in a variety of ways, including negotiating better prescription drug prices and asking wealthy seniors to pay more. 
It would obtain an additional $200 billion in savings by scaling back farm subsidies and trimming federal retiree programs. 
Congress and the administration have already secured $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years through budget reductions and with the end-of-year tax increase on the rich. Obama's plan would bring that total to $4.3 trillion over 10 years. 
It is unlikely that Congress will get down to serious budget negotiations until this summer, when the government once again will be confronted with the need to raise the government's borrowing limit or face the prospect of a first-ever default on U.S. debt. 
As part of the administration's effort to win over Republicans, Obama will have a private dinner at the White House with about a dozen GOP senators Wednesday night. The budget is expected to be a primary topic, along with proposed legislation dealing with gun control and immigration. 
Early indications are that the budget negotiations will be intense. Republicans have been adamant in their rejection of higher taxes, arguing that the $600 billion increase on top earners that was part of the late December agreement to prevent the government from going over the "fiscal cliff" were all the new revenue they will tolerate. 
The administration maintains that Obama's proposal is balanced with the proper mix of spending cuts and tax increases. 
Obama has presided over four straight years of annual deficits totaling more than $1 trillion, reflecting in part the lost revenue during a deep recession and the government's efforts to get the economy going again and stabilize the financial system. 
The Obama budget's $1.8 trillion in new deficit cuts would take the place of the automatic $1.2 trillion in reductions required by a 2011 budget deal. That provision triggered $85 billion in automatic cuts for the current budget year, and those reductions, known as a "sequester," would not be affected by Obama's new budget. 
The budget plan already passed by the GOP-controlled House would cut deficits by a total $4.6 trillion over 10 years on top of the $1.2 trillion called for in the 2011 deal. The budget outline approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate tracks more closely to the Obama proposal, although it does not include changes to the cost-of-living formula for Social Security. 

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lunes, abril 08, 2013

How competitive is America? A Hangout with The Economist

EconomistMagazine

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viernes, marzo 08, 2013

Political Calculations: The Demand Curve for the U.S. Minimum Wage

How much will President Obama's 2013 State of the Union proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $9.00 per hour affect the teens and young adults who make up roughly half of all those who earn the minimum wage or less in the United States?
We've been dancing around that question as we've been considering the recent history of minimum wage increases in recent weeks, but today, we're finally going to answer it!
Or rather, you are, because we've built a tool that you can use to do the math for yourself! Here, you just need to enter either President Obama's or your own proposed minimum wage (ideally in terms of constant 2011 U.S. dollars), and our tool will do the rest!
Minimum Wage Data
Input Data Values
Proposed Minimum Wage [U.S. Dollars per Hour]
Approximate Quantity of Americans Age 15-24 with Incomes
Calculated Results Values
... After Minimum Wage Increase
For those of you accessing this tool through a site that republishes the RSS feed for our posts, click here to access the original functioning version of the tool above!
Using President Obama's proposed minimum wage of $9.00 per hour, we estimate that the number of 15-24 year old Americans with incomes would decline by over 1.8 million from 2011's figure of 26,014,000 to the 24,192,580 figure estimated by our tool above, assuming no major shifts of the demand curve for American teens and young adults.
Here's how we get to that figure. We built a demand curve for the minimum wage using the income data that the U.S. Census Bureau has collected and reported in an easy-to-use digital format for each year from 1994 to 2011 (until this September, this will be the most recent year for which this data is available.)
In doing that, we considered the timing of when changes in the U.S. federal minimum wage occurred in the years they were implemented, and weighted them accordingly.
And then, we considered the situation where a number of states have set their minimum wage levels above the federal minimum wage. Since the minimum wage that applies in those states is the greater of the federal or state minimum wage level, we then took into account the percentage of the U.S. population that might be affected by that difference, and weighted the effective national minimum wage level by the affected state populations exposed to higher minimum wage levels as well.
Our last step was to then adjust the resulting effective national minimum wage level for inflation, with the results recorded in terms of constant 2011 U.S. dollars.
The results of that hour's worth of work on our part is presented in the chart below, in which we visualize the demand curve for the U.S. minimum wage.
Demand Curve for Age 15-24 Income Earners, 1994-2011 Weighted for State Population, Constant 2011 U.S. Dollars

We next identified the years that coincide with the Dot-Com Bubble, which ran from April 1997 through June 2003, since the effect of the bubble first caused the demand curve for Age 15-24 Americans to shift to the right during the inflation phase of the bubble (April 1997 to August 2000) before shifting back to the left during the deflation phase of the bubble (August 2000 to June 2003) and ending up roughly where it started.
Having identified the years that were affected by the dynamics of the Dot-Com Bubble's inflation and deflation phases, we then excluded the data for these years from the linear regression analysis of the remaining data, as they are clearly the result of an atypical situation for the U.S. economy. Here, we assume that the demand curve follows a mostly linear path for the prices and quantities involved outside the years affected by the Dot-Com Bubble.
And that's how we created the demand curve for teens and young adults based on the empirical evidence we've documented below!
Now, some of our economically-minded readers might wander if using the minimum wage per hour is the right "price" to use in our chart.
It is, and here's why. Since we're spanning the years of 1994 through 2011 in our analysis, we considered the changes that have been recorded with respect to the distribution of the total money income earned by Age 15-24 individuals over that time. We adjusted the 1994 distribution of income for this age group to be in terms of constant 2011 U.S. dollars, then determined the net change in the number of individuals at a number of income increments between 2011 and 1994. The results of that exercise are presented graphically below:
Net Change in Number of Age 15-24 Total Money Income Earners from 1994 to 2011 by $2,500 Increments

From 1994 through 2011, the most recent year for which the data is currently available at this writing, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that there has been a net decrease of 1,012,000 teens and young adults with incomes. As you can see in our chart above, virtually all of the negative change in the number of Americans Age 15-24 with incomes has occurred at annual incomes that fall below $15,000.
At the current U.S. federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, the annual income earned by an individual earning that wage today while working full-time (40 hours per week), year-round (52 weeks) is $15,080. That means that virtually *all* of the decline in the number of Americans Age 15-24 with incomes from 1994 to 2011 have occurred at the income levels that were the most directly impacted by minimum wage increases over that time.
Recall also that after adjusting for the effect of inflation, the total amount of income earned by American teens and young adults in 1994 and in 2011 is virtually identical. Increasing the minimum wage does not increase the amount of money available to pay wages and salaries, so it provides no benefit to the nation's GDP.
In effect, what this empirical data demonstrates is that increases in a price floor like the minimum wage simply locks out those who find themselves falling below the floor from the job market, without doing much to really benefit those who are at or above that threshold.
Maybe a good question to ask right now is just why President Obama hates American teens and young adults so much?...
On a closing note, using the President's proposed minimum wage level of $9.00 per hour and the quantity of 24,192,580 teens and young adults estimated in our tool above in our economic deadweight loss analysis tool puts the approximate deadweight loss to the U.S. economy with respect to 1994 at just over $5.6 million per hour in terms of 2011 U.S. dollars. And that doesn't even begin to reflect the increased costs to U.S. families and taxpayers who will be additionally burdened to support this portion of the U.S. population.
Keep reading on Political Calculations >>
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martes, febrero 12, 2013

China Surpasses U.S. in International Trade

In 2012, China became the world's biggest trading nation, with the total value of that nation's exports and imports surpassing those of the United States. Bloomberg reports:
U.S. exports and imports of goods last year totaled $3.82 trillion, the U.S. Commerce Department said last week. China’s customs administration reported last month that the country’s trade in goods in 2012 amounted to $3.87 trillion.
Since we have the data, we thought it might be interesting to see just what portion of China's volume of trade is with the United States. Our charts below show the component data for what the U.S. has imported from China, and also what the U.S. has exported to China in each month since January 1985, in terms of each nation's currency (click the images for larger versions):
Value of U.S. Exports to China, January 1985 - December 2012Value of U.S. Imports from China, January 1985 - December 2012
Taking the data just for 2012, we find that the total value of goods and services China either imported from or exported to the U.S. adds up to $536.2 billion U.S. dollars. With a total trade volume of $3.87 trillion U.S. dollars in 2012, China's trade with just the United States accounts for 13.9% of all its international trade activity. Applying similar math for the United States reveals that the U.S.' trade with China accounts for 14.0%, or just under 1/7th, of all its international trade activity.
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viernes, febrero 01, 2013

U.S. Day Ahead: Jobs look ugly but there's a silver lining

ReutersVideo


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lunes, enero 28, 2013

Break the Silence on the Unemployment Problem

economist.com
In his inaugural address, President Obama said that “An economic recovery has begun.” It was an applause line. The line is correct of course, but it is really nothing to applaud.  As economists define it, the recovery began nearly four years ago when the 2007-2009 recession ended in June 2009.  So we have had a recovery for most of the Obama Administration.  The problem is that it is a recovery in name only, one of the weakest recoveries in American history.  Growth has been about 2 percent since the recovery began and median household income has declined. That is far less economic growth than recoveries following deep recessions with financial crises in American history.

This slow recovery has left unemployment tragically high in most parts of the country. In the San Francisco Bay Area where I live we are relatively lucky. In San Francisco the unemployment rate is 6.7%. The rate is 7.8 % in the country as a whole, and 9.8 % in the state as a whole. In the nearby central valley—cities like Yuba City, Modesto, Merced, Fresno—it’s about 15%, and down south in El Centro California it’s 27%.    

The numbers would all be worse if they included the unusually large number of people who have dropped out of the labor force and are no longer counted as unemployed.  If they counted, the national unemployment rate would be 9.1 percent. Another way to think about this is to look at the fraction of working age adults who are employed. Though this number usually rises during recoveries, it is actually smaller now than when the recovery began.

But you know even that relatively low 6.7% in San Francisco is pretty terrible.  I like to tell the story about what Senator Hubert Humphrey said when President Ford’s Council of Economic Advisers, where I worked with Alan Greenspan, reported to the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) that it was raising the definition of the normal unemployment rate from 4.0% to 4.9%.  Humphrey, who chaired the JEC, was outraged and told us in the JEC hearing that “if the country was suffering a plague and you economists were doctors your solution would be to raise the definition of normal body temperature above 98.6 degrees”   

So I am worried when people stop talking about today’s very high unemployment rates as if they were normal.  It is not a good sign that the inaugural address was silent on the subject, not even including the word unemployment.

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martes, enero 22, 2013

Obama’s Startling Second Inaugural Admission

theatlantic.com
By
President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address on Monday was mostly what one would have expected: A paean to the wonders of statism and how great America could be if we would just overcome our unhealthy legacy. In Obama’s world, we would all be so much better if we could get over obsessions like rugged individualism and the true meaning of the words contained in our nation’s Constitution, and let a benevolent, all-knowing government take more control over our everyday lives.
But in the midst of his “we know better” exercise, Obama made the most stunning admission of abject failure I have heard a president utter in my lifetime. I’ll have more on that shortly.
In his speech, Obama made a pretense of paying homage to our Founding Fathers, but followed it with a clear indication that he believes their wisdom is passé by claiming that “preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.” Other than our involvement in wars, which he falsely claims will soon be coming to an end, I can’t imagine what he could be thinking of. Obama even added a dose of coldly calculated and contemptuous ridicule to the mix by including an insulting reference to the modern wartime inadequacy of “muskets and militias.”
Though it was indeed, as the Politico’s Glenn Thrush correctly noted, “the most liberal speech he has delivered as president,” it clearly disappointed some of those in the establishment press who wanted to hear Obama go for his opponents’ jugulars. That group includes John Dickerson, who has been Political Director at CBS News since November 2011.
Dickerson put on his best game face at Slate after the speech, but it’s clear from reading his previous 2,000-word battle plan disguised as a column on Friday that Obama didn’t go as far as he would have liked.
The column’s headlines called for Obama to “Go for the Throat!” and “declare war on the Republican Party.” In his content, Dickerson claimed that Republican recalcitrance meant that “Obama’s only remaining option is to pulverize,” and that the president “can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP.” Slate was so thrilled with the piece that it amped up its “most popular” tease list title to read: “Why Obama Should Seek To Destroy the Republican Party.” Dickerson’s occupation of such an influential perch at CBS and the presence of so many others like him at other news outlets largely explain why last year’s establishment press coverage of the GOP primaries and the general election was so ruthlessly biased against Republicans and especially conservatives.
Given the content of the rest of his speech, it was astonishing to hear Obama say the following five words: ”An economic recovery has begun.”
Wow.
We’re just three weeks shy of the fourth anniversary of the passage of the February 2009 “stimulus plan.” It was supposed to turn the economy around after the evil George W. Bush ruined everything. Obama’s Keynesian economists told us that without the stimulus plan’s immediate implementation, unemployment would rise to an unacceptable 9 percent by the summer of 2010. But if we would just pass this monstrosity which nobody read, unemployment would peak at 8 percent in just a few months and gradually fall to 5.2 percent by the end of 2012.
What really happened is that despite the plan’s passage (actually, largely because of it), the unemployment rate hit 10 percent before 2009 was even over, stayed above 8 percent for a post-World War II record 43 months, and is still at 7.8 percent. The Obama government, set into fiscal motion by the Democratic Congress of 2009-2010 and running on autopilot ever since, has run up $5 trillion in supposedly stimulative budget deficits and has been the beneficiary of four years of supposedly stimulative near-zero interest rates courtesy of Ben the Betrayer Bernanke’s Federal Reserve.
Now, after all of that ruinous stimulus, the best our president can say is: “An economic recovery has begun.” It’s almost as if he wants us to believe that this strange, uncontrollable beast called the economy has finally decided to get better on its own.
Unfortunately for those who are unemployed, under-employed, and discouraged, there’s still reason to believe that the economy, after so many false starts during Obama’s first term, is once again sputtering.
Economists have been wearing out their erasers and “delete” keys writing down their estimates of economic growth during the fourth quarter of 2012. The rough consensus is that gross domestic product will grow by an annualized 1.5 percent, down from 3.1 percent in the third quarter – if we’re lucky.
Seasonally adjusted job growth has only averaged 130,000 during the past ten months. That’s below the 150,000 jobs needed just to keep pace with growth in the adult population. Additionally, in a sign that the trend is in the wrong direction, the raw number of jobs changes before seasonal adjustment has been lower than that seen in the same month of the previous year during three of the past four months.
Finally, in perhaps the most ominous sign of decay, last week’s report on initial jobless claims told us that the raw number of claims filed (i.e., before seasonal adjustment) was greater than the comparable week a year ago — the first time this has happened in a truly comparable non-holiday week since October 2009.
The way things are going, Obama’s successor may very well use those same five words — “An economic recovery has begun” — in his or her inaugural address four long years from now.

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jueves, enero 17, 2013

A Debt Limit Strategy Rather Than Tactics

The recent debate about the debt limit focuses on the negative economic impact of a decision by the government not to increase the debt limit. That’s why President Obama says he is asking for clean debt limit increase—one not linked to spending reductions, saying that a default would cause economic harm, and that we should not play chicken with the American economy.

But with current high and growing debt levels a clean debt limit increase would also hurt the economy. If politicians just increase the debt limit now without reducing the rapid growth of spending, then they will be expected to do so in the future and the debt explosion will continue to create a drag on the economy with a likely future crisis. The time pattern may be different with a clean debt limit increase--if kicking the can down the road postpones the harm, but the overall impact is negative, and it could be worse if there is a debt crisis.

There is an obvious way to prevent both evils: follow a policy strategy which links debt limit increases to reductions in the growth of spending. By focusing on tactics--games of chicken, leverage and threats—Washington is ignoring this sensible policy strategy.

In a recent technical paper my colleague Bob Hall, rigorously works out the effects of severing the link between debt increases and deficit spending. He defines a parameter which he calls “alpha.” It’s simply the amount by which politicians reduce the deficit when they increase the debt, measured as a fraction of the debt to GDP ratio. In other words, alpha is an indicator of how much the government “leans against” the debt. As Bob puts it: “Alpha is all-important in the analysis….Governments with no tendency to lean against debt, with alpha = 0, face a likelihood but not a certainty of debt crisis.” The problem with a clean debt limit increase is that it effectively sets alpha to 0.

A much better value of alpha, as Bob shows, is around .1, which, if you measure spending reductions on a ten year basis, translates to .1X10 or 1, or, in other words, a strategy like the one-to-one link sometimes called the Boehner rule. So while some may think of such a rule a threat, it is really a strategy, and a sensible strategy in my view.
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"Hablame"

"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño

(el-alto-sueño);

le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.

Los Aldeanos: "El Socialismo en Tiempos del Colera: Toda Una Nación"

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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva

Seguidores

Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
-
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini


"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]

Liborio

Liborio
A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan

CUBA LLORA Y EL MUNDO Y NOSOTROS NO ESCUCHAMOS

Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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