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

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.
More at politicalcalculations >>
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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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martes, enero 15, 2013

INTERVIEW: We Found A Congressman Who Actually Understands Economics

The idea of circumventing the debt ceiling via the creation of a Trillion Dollar Coin first gained momentum a couple of weeks ago after it was suggested by New York Congressman Jerry Nadler in an interview with Reid Pillifant of Capital New York.
That such an outside-the-box, yet economically sound argument came from Nadler wasn't a big surprise, as Nadler (who represents much of Lower Manhattan) has a history of showing depth in his thinking beyond that of the typical Congressman.
Watching Washington deal with the debt ceiling can be a scary proposition, given the seriousness of the issue, combined with the ignorance, but there are some who get it.
In light of the death of the Trillion Dollar Coin, we caught back up with Nadler to get his take on it, and more broadly what Congress should be doing to help the economy.
On the deficit, he says what virtually no other politician will say, that it's too small: "I think the deficit is not our immediate problem, our immediate problem is unemployment and frankly, I think right now, we should be running a higher deficit, temporarily, to get the economy into high gear."
He also characterized Europe, which has been trying austerity for two years, as a rare real-time economics experiment: "I often say in my speeches, I say, it’s rare in life that you get a controlled scientific experiment. 'Cause you can’t do controlled scientific experiments with real people, normally. But you have it, and if you grasp the economics of the economic recoveries from 2007 in Europe and the United States, they matched, until 2010, when they start to collapse. And then it diverges, and we keep going up, slowly."
Given the unpopularity of more deficit spending, can the public ever be convinced we need to spend more? Here Nadler blames Obama for ceding too much ground and accepting the GOP premise that spending cuts are needed... "Because when the presidents sets the basic terms of the argument, that defines sort of the outer limit to a lot of extent."
As for the debt ceiling, he's very concerned, and he says the best hope is that Wall Street and big business will simply bring enough pressure on the GOP to wake them up.
Big thanks to BI intern Lisa Mahapatra for transcribing the below Q&A.
-----------------------------
BI: What do you think of the coin rejection?
Rep. Nadler: I don’t understand why the president unilaterally disarmed even if he doesn’t want to use it, why not just keep it in his back pocket, follow what Carney said last week... and let them think, you know, that the threat is there.
BI: Right.
Rep. Nadler: He says he’s not going to negotiate, and god knows that I hope he won't, but when it comes to the deadline and they haven’t raised the debt ceiling, what happens then?...I hope he doesn’t negotiate at that point.
BI: So you think he’ll basically have to negotiate, having taken all these off the table.
Rep. Nadler: I don’t know. Because Wall St. and big businesses are going to push very hard on the Republican party not to go into Terra incognita, which terrifies them, and it should terrify them. And the Republicans may cave to that. They may not. I hope they do, and I hope they never get to that point. If we get to that point, it would be very good if we had that, if he had that in his backpocket.
BI: Let’s just take a step back for a minute, forgetting the current debt ceiling negotiations, and what’s your general view, I mean I know like, it seems to me that you have a higher understanding of economics than many congressmen, even the fact that you understood the coin proposal and understood that it wasn’t a joke. What do you think the government’s responsibility right now is, in terms of running deficits instead of stimulating the economy.
Rep. Nadler: I think the deficit is not our immediate problem, our immediate problem is unemployment and frankly, I think right now, we should be running a higher deficit, temporarily, to get the economy into high gear.
We’re in a very slow recovery, unnecessarily so. The deficit has come down from 10.1% percentage in 2009, to 7.1% now, without doing anything. I mean if we could have unemployment down to 5%, which it was in 2005, that would reduce the deficit by 40% by itself. I think this austerity policy of chasing this whole grand bargain thing, I don’t agree with. I don’t think we should be cutting spending at all, except the spending that is really unnecessary, like the military.
And even then, cut that, but increase resourceful (resources) spending. The real reason we have this high deficit we do is because of the counter-Cyclicals, unemployment insurance, food stamps, which is what we’re supposed to do.
I think trying to reduce the deficit right now is wrong, because this position is going to keep the economy in the doldrums and keep the depression going longer and it’s self-defeating.
You look at Europe. I often say in my speeches, I say, it’s rare in life that you get a controlled scientific experiment. Cause you can’t do controlled scientific experiments with real people, normally. But you have it, and if you grasp the economics of the economic recoveries from 2007 in Europe and the United States, they matched, until 2010, when they start to collapse. And then it diverges, and we keep going up, slowly.
BI: Do you think the public could be made to understand this argument. It’s very, economists understand this very well, and the idea that we should be running higher deficits to counteract the slump, but is this a message that can get through?
Rep. Nadler: I think the problem is, it’s practically impossible to get the public to buy that, as long as the president doesn’t. If the president buying into the notion that the deficit is a big problem or that we’re going to have a grand bargain.. Do we revenues as well as cuts, but still do cuts. Very difficult to do against that from the left.
BI: Do you think that the left cedes too much, is that what you’re saying, it cedes too many of the premises of the right about the benefits of cutting spending?
Rep. Nadler: I don’t know, I said from the left meaning... I think the president seems to have ceded the basic argument. And that’s a problem for all of us. Because when the presidents sets the basic terms of the argument, that defines sort of the outer limit to a lot of extent.
BI: Where does your understanding of economics come from, most congressmen don’t grasp the stuff and don’t seem to think about it like this. Why do you understand it so well?
Rep. Nadler: I read a lot, I don’t know.
BI: Who do you like to read?
Rep. Nadler: Who do I like to read? I certainly like to read Paul Krugman, his columns, his blogs. I read, you know various books: currently I’m reading a book, the Donald Bartlett book, The Betrayal American Dream. I’ve read most of Bob Kutner's books.
BI: Are there other people in the congress that sympathize with you? You just don’t hear many politicians talk like this.
Rep. Nadler: There are people who agree. Quite a few people in the progressive caucus that if you look at the progressive caucus budgets, that we vote on every year that we get generally 90 to 100 votes, those budgets either as an alternative democratic budget, we vote the democratic budget and the progressive caucus budget, and subsequent resolutions, those budgets are based on the premises that I’ve been articulating. Based on the fact that we should not be trudging along austerity, that we should be priming the pump and doing straight Keynesian economics.
BI: Do you believe that the US could theoretically have a debt crisis or do you think premise, just the idea that that could happen in the US is incorrect?
Rep. Nadler: I don’t know about could, I assume you could conjure up far-fetched circumstances in which it could occur, but it’s certainly not a likely scenario in the relatively near future. I mean right now, we’re selling our bonds at negative interest rates. I don’t see that.
BI: Now that the coin idea has been taken off the table, you know there’s still some people that think there might be some other loopholes, like the IOU idea. Do you think the White House has any backup options at this point?
Rep. Nadler: I don’t know, I don’t understand. I read something about the IOU thing, I don’t really understand it, I don’t know. They’ve taken the 14th amendment off the table, they’ve taken the trillion dollar coin off the table. The coin, I mean the 14th amendment, I’ve read good constitutional arguments on both sides, and there’s not decent court precedent. But the coin is so clearly legal, so clearly does the job, I don’t understand why they took it off the table, I don’t understand where they are at this point. As I said, I don’t know what actions there are at this point, other than they should have Wall St., big business gets the Republicans backing down.
I should tell you, I am sponsoring a bill, introduced last September, in the last congress, I’m going to reintroduce it this week, on Wednesday, just to repeal the debt ceiling. Because it’s obviously now become a tool of extortion. But we should have done that a long time ago.'
BI: Do you believe that, when the Republicans say that hitting the debt ceiling doesn’t necessarily imply default on interest payments specifically, what do you make of that argument? Do you think prioritization is technically possible?
Rep. Nadler: I don’t know, I’m not an economic expert in the operations of the government to be able to answer that. I do know, I think I read that there were 100 million checks written, I don’t know, that it’s mostly computerized, that even if you wanted it, tried to prioritize it, it’s not going to clear if in fact you physically could. And that may be the case but even so, to say that you’re going to prioritize, to say that you’re not in default if you’re paying the interest on the bonds, but you’re not sending out social security checks, not paying the military, you’re not sending veteran’s benefits, those are defaults on contractual obligations. And legal obligations. I don’t think, the market would look very differently, if you paid the bonds’ interests and you can get away with that for a while, by not paying all the other people, government collapsed and people starved, because they’re not getting social security checks, I suspect that the markets would not brightly on that.
BI: You think the best hope is that big business and Wall Street puts pressure on the Republicans, do you see evidence of that happening in a way you didn’t see in 2011.
Rep. Nadler: Oh yeah, I think we do see evidence that. I don’t think in 2011 anyone took seriously how limiting these people were. I know that now, and i think that they’re beginning to really try to put on the pressure. Whether they, certainly work on people like Boehner, it won’t work on some of these people we’ve seen talk about prioritizing and default and so forth … how that will work out I don’t know.
BI: Thank you.

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jueves, enero 10, 2013

Republican senator rips Obama Treasury pick over 'false' statement on debt

President Obama plans to announce Thursday afternoon that he is nominating White House chief of staff Jack Lew to replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, a White House official told Fox News.
Keep reading on foxnews >>

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jueves, enero 03, 2013

U.S. Needs a 12-Step Program for Spending

black.house.gov
Gary Wickert/
Crack cocaine is one of the most addictive substances on earth. It chemically alters part of the brain called the “reward system.” The drug traps dopamine in the synapses between nerve cells in the brain, reproducing the feelings of pleasure we get while eating or having sex — a euphoric high lasting anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. But then the drug wears off, leaving the person feeling let-down and depressed, and creating a desire to smoke more crack in order to feel good again.
Research has shown that monkeys addicted to crack will press a bar more than 12,000 times to get a single dose, and the second they get it they start pressing the bar for more. On New Year’s Day, America inhaled deeply on something far more dangerous and addictive than crack cocaine — government spending.
The House finally gave in to peer pressure Tuesday night and voted to approve a Senate “fiscal cliff” bill to be signed by America’s biggest drug dealer, Barack Obama. The deal increases taxes $41 for every $1 in spending cuts.
On November 6, 2012, a plurality of uninformed voters stumbled into the voting booths and despite the worst economy since the Depression, pressed the bar 59.8 million times in order to get another dose. The 57.1 million Americans who tried to remove the drug dealer from the neighborhood and the 13 million people (including 3 million Republicans) who voted in 2008 but closed their curtains and stayed home in 2012, watched on early Tuesday morning in stunned amazement as Senate Republicans, with pupils dilated and a light blue cloud of smoke following them, appeared nervously before the cameras and with straight faces denied smoking anything. The House — with a majority of Republicans voting against it — went along with the Senate on the deal.
The “fiscal cliff” Republicans “avoided” was the harsh terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 which were scheduled to go into effect January 1. This included a 2% tax increase for workers as temporary payroll tax cuts expired, the end of certain business tax breaks, a rollback of the Bush tax cuts from 2001-2003, and the onset of massive tax increases that come with Obamacare. The payroll tax holiday was allowed to lapse, but the rest of the tax cuts survive — except for the top tax rate on the rich which moved up to 39.6%.
This would not have been good for the economy, but the cliff was not all bad. According to Barron’s, last year’s failure to agree on a plan to cut the budget deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years would also have automatically resulted in precisely the sort of behavioral modification treatment America needs — deep automatic spending cuts (known as “sequestration“) to over 1,000 government programs,  including the defense budget and Medicare payments to doctors. Sequestration would have substantially reduced but not eliminated the federal budget deficit (from 7.6% of GDP to 3.8%). But it would have been a step in the right direction.
Congress’ fiscal cliff deal calls for $620 billion in new taxes while coming up with only $15 billion in spending cuts. Only a crack addict will fail to admit that the real cause of our long-term deficits is government spending, not low revenue. While revenue will surpass its historical average of 18.1 percent of GDP by 2018, spending remains above its historical average of 20.2 percent and would have reached 22.1 percent by 2022, even if the $2.1 trillion in spending cuts in the Budget Control Act had occurred. But then again, addicts always deny they have a problem. Ask a Democrat. They believe we are not spending enough. After 50 years of the War on Poverty, we are further away from victory than when we started. Yet America’s addicts justify firing up the crack pipe again by reciting the worn-out anti-poverty narrative –  help the poor by spending more. Start another federal program.
America’s drug-dealer-in-chief has overseen a 50% increase in our national debt, which currently is at $15,355,838,921,022.16. This is more than the gross domestic product of the entire country and more than the GDP of China, Japan, and the UK combined. In less than four years the Obama adminstration has added $6 trillion to that number. Publicly held debt has increased by 80%. Instead of admitting its problem and checking into rehab, Congress simply keeps raising the debt ceiling. Each U.S. taxpayer now owes $111,414 — and counting. The budget deficit has now topped $1 trillion for four straight years. In a few short years we will be spending more on interest payments on the debt than on the entire defense budget.
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The View from the Bottom of a Fiscal Abyss

thelastdaysbulletin.blogspot.com
Forty-one dollars in tax increases for every one dollar in spending cuts. That’s the shrewd deal Speaker of the House John Boehner negotiated with President Barack Obama. Obama, Boehner and other congressional leaders have known for a year and a half that these automatic tax increases and so-called spending cuts — also known as the fiscal cliff, or sequestration — were coming, and yet they did nothing. In fact, Obama seemed to gleefully taunt Republicans after his re-election in November, as though he wanted to go over “the cliff.” He taunts them still, and it will get worse.
Of course, the dolts who returned him to office see nothing wrong with penalizing the most productive people in our society in order to give them (the dolts) more free stuff. The indoctrination they have received in our government schools has taught them that even if two plus two equals four, it doesn’t matter because somehow the geniuses who represent us in Washington can make it equal seven.
Apparently, Obama was so exhausted from those two speeches he gave this week that he had to resume his multi-million dollar vacation the next morning. In fact, it was so important that he get back to Hawaii, the president left town without even signing the bill he had told us was so crucial to save us from economic Armageddon.
Before leaving, however, he informed the country that he will entertain no further debates — with Congress or anyone else, apparently — about how much of our great-grandchildren’s money he is spending. This is just a preview of the arrogance that will be on full display during his second term.
It is an inane joke to even talk about spending cuts in Washington. The last president to prevail upon Congress to actually cut government spending was Calvin Coolidge in the roaring twenties (hint: that’s why they roared). Today, what passes for a “cut” is actually nothing but a smaller increase in what they planned to spend.
Imagine a family that made $100,000 in 2012 but spent $150,000, putting the difference on a credit card. Their plan for 2013 (while still earning $100,000, mind you) was to spend $300,000. However, on New Year’s Eve, they decide to be “responsible” and only spend $250,000. In Washington, D.C., instead of a $100,000 increase in spending, this would be called a $50,000 cut.
Of course, in Barack Obama’s world, members of our hypothetical family would be forced to change their lifestyles to accommodate the government. The stay-at-home mom would have to go to work in order to pay for the increased costs of gasoline, food, clothing, housing, insurance, health care, and everything else the family needs to survive. And that, of course, when added together with what could be found in the children’s piggy bank, would reclassify the family as “rich,” which would necessitate an additional tax penalty in order to make them pay their “fair share.”
There is now talk of a challenge to Boehner for the position of Speaker. Do you think it will make a difference? Would House Majority leader Eric Cantor be a better negotiator? Would he be able to stop this spending spree? In the United States Senate — run by Democrats — they have not even passed a budget during Obama’s entire first term.
In a matter of weeks, this temporary New Year’s Eve fix will culminate in exactly the debate Obama claims he simply will not have, the one over raising the debt limit another two trillion dollars — that’s a two with twelve zeros behind it — which will not even fund this out-of-control government for six months.
This is not a fiscal cliff. This is fiscal insanity. It is a fiscal abyss, and we are about witness the view from amidst the rubble at the bottom of it.

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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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