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Bruce Enberg's Commentary

It takes a sharp wooden stake

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The new unemployment claims reported on last week were at a seven year low, the report for this week is up again close to the moving average, but overall it's not bad news for the economy. We will probably see more people leaving the workforce now that they don't need to stay with the company that provides them health insurance, and this should be reflected in a falling unemployment rate. Worker mobility should improve from this 'portability' aspect of ObamaCare, and this could result in fewer people being laid off since workers are able leave a company for another job rather than hanging on until the ax falls.

 

In theory, we should see an upturn in people creating their own business since they don't need to worry about finding health insurance. There is, however, the problem that if a person is a college graduate her or she is likely be carrying a large student debt load and this hampers entrepreneurship. Unless you simply take Mitt Romney's advice and borrow the money from your father to get started,  - it worked great for him.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 21:05 Read more...

"Børk, Børk, Børk"

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You know how the right has been constantly complaining about Obama's ballooning deficit? They have of course been wrong about that since the day Obama inherited Bush's $1.5t annual deficit and immediately slashed it by getting rid of private crony contractors. There has been a steady decline in budget shortfall ever since, and the latest numbers have set new records. The deficit for the first half of this fiscal year starting last October 1st was $413b, and this was a decline of $187 billion compared to the same time last year. These numbers were provided by the Treasury Department, so the Right will claim the numbers are fixed. They can't prove that, because math is just voodoo as far as the Right is concerned.

Further more, the deficit for March was only $37 billion, down from $107 billion in March of last year. This particular number was the smallest deficit for the month of March since 2000, (when another Democrat was POTUS).

The deficit is expected to be slightly more than more than 4% of GDP this fiscal year, a drop from a high of almost 10% of the GDP in 2009 at the end of the Bush Adm. This trend shows the deficit falling faster than in any year since the end of World War II, dropping from $1.1 trillion in 2012 to $680 billion. Conservatives had predicted a runaway deficit by this time with interest alone exceeding all possible tax revenue, and of course had Obama been forced to follow Bush's policies this would have come to pass.

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Democracy is falling off the Edge

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From the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, "... consumers, of course, have options, They can go to another broadband provider if they want to reach particular edge providers or if their connections to particular edge providers have been degraded.” Replace the term 'edge providers' with 'liberal media', and you get what this is all about. The three hard right corporate owners that control all the major markets can simply tell you what sort of material you can download from, or upload to internet. The phrase, "want to reach" means explicitly that they can block content at will.

 

The Court actually used the Libertarian rational that 'competition' will protect you. Good luck finding another broadband provider that won't also block the content that disagrees with their goals of a Neo-Feudalist America. Remember, they can block either end of the connection, if not outright, by pricing you out of business, and favoring those that they approve.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:43 Read more...

The Jade Rabbit says, "Nǐ hǎo" (hello)

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New unemployment claims fell sharply the week before Christmas despite widespread weather problems that were putting a drag on business activity. Early numbers suggest that retail sales were up for November and December, justifying the increase in business inventory during the third quarter. This would be in line with the declining layoffs, if inventory sold as predicted as more production will be required in January.

 

The Federal Reserve is cutting its $85b per month QE3 bond buying program by $10b in January and this is causing bond interest rates to climb. But so far this has had no negative effect on the stock market that continues to set records. At $75b we're still talking about the better part of a trillion dollars a year in stimulus. Of course this is 'soft stimulus' that mostly ends up as bank balance sheet entries.

 

If the government would spend $1t per year on infrastructure the US would be booming like China, instead of drifting toward becoming a third world colony of the People's Republic of China. Did I mention they have a rover named the Jade Rabbit on the moon? Twenty years ago there were almost no private cars in China, now the 'commies' are a bigger market for cars than the US. In five years their economy will be bigger than the US across the board.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 December 2013 22:21 Read more...

Punched or drilled? Use an inspection mirror & a spec sheet for comparison

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Numbers on 3rd quarter GDP growth are in, and we could be breaking into a chorus of    'Happy Days are Here Again.'  A quarterly growth of 4.1% in GDP is something that we have seen hardly at all since Ronald Reagan set about destroying the economy for the benefit of the 0.001% of Americans.

 

In the old days of New Deal Keynesian economics a 4% growth rate was the norm. Conservatives would like you to believe that such a number just isn't possible anymore unless you cut the tax rate on the rich to zero. Never mind that the Communist Chinese have been maintaining a pace of 2 to 3 times that for decades by pursuing FDR's or more accurately Alexander Hamilton's polices. You know, the guy on the ten dollar bill.

 

The Chinese are big fans of our Founding Fathers, and it's paid off for them big time. The US went from making wooden shovels to being the undisputed industrial power of the world by following Hamilton's policies enacted by Congress in 1792. China has gone from making nothing more advanced than a 1940 style steam locomotive to putting a rover on the moon in just 30 years. This will be China's century in ways that we can't even imagine.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 20 December 2013 22:37 Read more...

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