Category Archives: Economy

Home ownership increasingly out of reach for U.S. middle class

Home ownership is increasingly out of reach for America’s middle class.

In just one year, the percentage of all homes for sale considered affordable for the middle class has fallen from 62% in 2013 to 59% in 2014.

That’s the finding of a new report by Trulia, an online residential real estate site for home buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals.

U.S. home ownership

Mail Online reports, Nov. 21, 2014, that Trulia defines an affordable city as one in which the “total monthly payment, including mortgage, insurance, and property taxes, is less than 31% of the metro area’s median household income.”

By that definition, owning a home is increasingly hard to do for most middle class families.

Other findings in the Trulia report:

  • Most of America’s most affordable cities are around the Great Lakes.
  • Ohio is the state with three cities in the top ten most affordable cities.
  • The two cities where a middle class income is most likely to find you a home are Dayton, Ohio, followed by Rochestor, New York.
  • The least affordable cities tend to be on the coasts, with six on that list being in California.

Trulia economist Jed Kolko said the dream of owning a home is falling out of reach of many Americans: “Homeownership is getting less affordable for the middle class. Unless incomes increase substantially, home ownership will slip further beyond the reach of many households.”

elections have consequences

I’ve been meaning to ask this question to those who had reelected Obama to the presidency in 2012, in particular voters who are in business or in the military or are Christians:

Do you honestly think that if the pro-business and business-experienced, pro-military and military-supported, and Mormon Mitt Romney — who is not perfect — had been elected president, America’s economy, military, and Christianity would be in the sorry state they are today?

And do you honestly think that a President Romney would now be enmeshed in one scandal after another — IRSgate, Grubergate, Benghazigate, VA hospital-gate, Amnestygate, ad nauseum?

Stop being blindly partisan. Try and be honest, for once in your life.

See:

~Eowyn

Businesses to patronize or shun this Christmas

Christmas is about Christ

Once again, the American Family Association (AFA) has done the work for us by issuing a list of retailers, separated into “Nice,” “Marginal,” or “Naughty” categories in accordance with whether the business recognizes Christmas by actually using the C-word in their advertising.

The AFA’s annual Christmas “naughty or nice” list has been very effective. Randy Sharp, director of special projects for the American Family Association told OneNewsNow he’s witnessed the change in retailers’ advertising over the years: “More and more companies are now recognizing and using the term ‘Christmas’ in all of their advertising. Eight years ago, probably 80% of the companies in America were using generic terms such as ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Season’s Greetings’ with no reference to Christmas in their advertising. But because of the AFA annual ‘Naughty-or-Nice List,’ companies have now awakened and they now incorporate [the term] ‘Christmas’ quite extensively in a lot of their advertising.”

The AFA list uses a color-coded system, with blue being the highest rating and red for those retailers who refuse to even acknowledge Christmas while profiting mightily from the Christmas gift-buying frenzy.

This year, AFA is providing pro-Christmas consumers with an easy option for delivering their message to retailers on the Naughty list. AFA’s Sharp explains, “When you click on any company in the red – the Naughty companies – you are immediately taken to a page where you can easily contact this company via a phone number, an email, you can post something on their Facebook page. We encourage people to let these companies know why they are not going to do business with them this Christmas.

Below are the best and worst businesses from the AFA Naughty-or-Nice List. Please go to the AFA site and print a copy of the full list to bring with you on your Christmas shopping. Click here!

The best stores are the blue-colored businesses — companies that have an AFA “5-Star” rating because they promote and celebrate Christmas on an exceptional basis:

The worst stores are red-colored businesses — companies that, at best, may use “Christmas” sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company does not recognize Christmas, although they don’t hesitate to take your money. Don’t give your hard-earned money to these!

H/t FOTM’s MomOfIV

~Eowyn

Jon Gruber who thinks Americans are stupid made nearly $2M from Obamacare

jonathan-gruber

Jonathan Gruber is an MIT economics professor who was the architect of Romneycare in Massachusetts and a key architect of Obamacare, aka the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

But both Gruber and the Obama administration kept his work on Obamacare a secret, and instead portrayed him as merely an independent economist who supports Obamacare. Gruber was frequently quoted by journalists and lawmakers who did not know of his connection to the administration; nor did Gruber disclose his connection when writing opinion articles. To this day, Obama denies Gruber’s role in formulating Obamacare or even that he knows the economist at all. (See “Obama lies again: Jon Gruber never worked for me“)

Thanks to Rich Weinstein, a Philadelphia investment adviser, Gruber has now been exposed, not only for his role in crafting Obamacare, but more importantly for his arrogant and contemptuous declarations — captured on video — that Obamacare INTENTIONALLY was written in a tortured and confusing way so as to conceal the law’s true costs from the American people who are too stupid to understand the law anyway, a stupidity “that was really, really critical to get this thing to pass.” 

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told Fox News’s “On the Record” on Nov. 12, 2014, that Gruber was paid almost $400,000 ($392,600 to be exact) by the federal government for his “consulting” work in crafting Obamacare.

But it turns out $400,000 is a gross understatement of Jon Gruber’s earnings from Obamacare. After the bill became law, he made a good deal more — 463% more.

Obamacare exchange

Byron York reports for Washington Examiner, Nov. 16, 2014, that when Obamacare became law, many states had to set up online “exchanges” by which individuals and small businesses can compare policies and purchase the now-mandatory health insurance (with a government subsidy if eligible).

Those exchanges would have to be built from the ground up. Studies would have to be done. And Gruber — who had designed Obamacare to begin with — was just the man to do the job. The Charleston Daily Mail in September 2012 even called Gruber “a policy rock star.”

Below are Jonathan Gruber’s earnings for his work as a consultant on Obamacare, both before and after it became law:

1. In 2009, as Obamacare was moving its way through Senate committees, Gruber was a paid consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on two contracts — one in March for $95,000 to work on the project; and the second in June for $297,600 to continue that work. Altogether, Gruber received a total of $392,600 from HHS. 

2. In 2010, the state of Wisconsin, under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, paid Gruber $400,000 to do a study of the impact of healthcare reform. By the time Gruber finished his report, however, Republican Scott Walker had been elected governor and wasn’t much interested in using Gruber’s study.

3. In 2011-2013, the state of Minnesota paid Gruber $329,000 to study how to make its exchange conform with Obamacare requirements.

4. In November 2011, the state of Vermont hired a consulting firm that paid Gruber at least $91,875 to study the state exchange. 

5. In 2012, the state of West Virginia signed a contract for $121,500 with Gruber to study its healthcare system.

6. In 2012, the state of Michigan included Gruber in a multi-firm, $481,050 contract to study its exchange system. It’s not clear how much of that went to Gruber himself.

Altogether, Jon Gruber was paid $1,816,025 from federal and state governments. If we exclude item #6 above, at a minimum, Gruber still made a whopping $1,334,975 for his “consultant” work on Obamacare — a bill that he intentionally designed to be confusing so that those stupid American people wouldn’t know what’s in it, which would enable those stupid Congress critters to pass the bill, many if not all of whom didn’t even bother to read the bill before they passed it into law. And then after the bill became law, Gruber then made even more money — 4.63 times more than what he was paid for crafting Obamacare — for his “consultancy” to state governments on how to make the deliberately-confusing law work.

Obamacare Screw U

But to say that Jonathan Gruber was paid $1,334,975 to $1,816,025 by the federal (HHS) and state governments is really a misnomer.

In the end, it was the American taxpayers who paid Jonathan Gruber nearly $2 million dollars — those same “stupid American people” who are too stupid to understand Gruber’s deliberately-confusing “health care” law.

This is what Obamacare is about, from the beginning. Don’t say we hadn’t warned you.

Who's exempt from Obamacare

~Eowyn

86M Americans simply don’t want to work: 40% of women, 28% of men, 39% of youth

evolution of man

There is a simple truth about America’s declining unemployment numbers about which the MSM don’t tell you.

Many of the unemployed — TENS OF MILLIONS of them — have simply stopped looking for work. They’ve dropped out of the U.S. labor force, and so they are not counted among the ranks of the “unemployed.”

Paul Bedard reports for Washington Examiner, Nov. 14, 2014, that a mind-boggling 92 million Americans, or nearly 4 in every 10 Americans, are not in the labor force.

That’s more than the population of entire countries. More Americans have dropped out of the labor force than the entire population of Vietnam (89.7 million) or Egypt (87.5 million) or Germany (80.7 million) or France (66 million). In fact, there are more Americans who are not working than TWICE the population of Spain.

And now we know the reason why so many Americans have dropped out of the labor force: They have simply given up and don’t want to work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 93% (or 85.9 million adults) of the people not in the labor force are those who don’t want a job. So much for the much-touted Protestant Work Ethic that had industrialized America and transformed it into a world super power.

So who are these American ADULTS that simply don’t want to work?

According to a Pew Research Center analysis out last Friday, Nov. 14, they are:

  • 28.5% of men said they didn’t want a job in October 2014 — up from 23.9% in October 2000 and 25.2% in October 2008.
  • 40.2% of women said they didn’t want a job in October 2014 — up from 38% throughout the 2000s.
  • 39% of young adults (ages 16-24) don’t want to work, up from 29% in 2000.

Americans who don't want to work

The number of Americans who don’t work will only increase — exponentially — in coming years.

Business Standard reports, Nov. 17, 2014, that advances in technology, especially robotics, will render obsolete half of today’s occupations by 2025 — in 11 years.

According to a report titled “Fast Forward 2030: The Future of Work and the Workplace,” based on interviews with 220 experts, business leaders and young people from Asia, Europe and North America, “Nearly 50 per cent of occupations today will no longer exist in 2025.”

The upside is that new jobs will require creative intelligence, social and emotional intelligence and ability to leverage artificial intelligence, which means those new jobs will be immensely more fulfilling than today’s jobs — for the economic élite.

But what will society do with the teeming HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of Americans who no longer work?

Answer: Expect even more distracting, sensationalist, self-indulgent, mind-rotting and soul-rotting garbage on your TV and in movies, sports, and pop “music.”

No wonder the average I.Q. of humans across the world is declining.

World IQ

H/t Vdare

See also:

~Eowyn

Hitler Finds Out Field Marshal Gruber Spilled the Beans

DCG

And Now For The Completely Absurd.

"What do you think Mary"? " Looks Like someone got a new welding set for Christmas"

“What do you think Mary”? ” Looks Like someone got a new welding set for Christmas”

How much you wanna pay?

How much you wanna pay?

I know, call me a heathen, but a Hundred Million? Oy Vey.

———————————————————————————————-

Sculpture expected to break record, sell for $100M

19 Hours Ago

t stands just under 5 feet tall, a painted bronze woman atop a small platform with two wheels. But Alberto Giacometti’s 1950 “Chariot” sculpture could make history Tuesday, when it goes on the auction block at Sotheby’s.

With an estimated worth of more than $100 million, many dealers said it could become the most expensive sculpture ever sold and could help pull the increasingly top-heavy art market through another record-breaking auction season.

“This could easily set the record,” said Andrew Fabricant, director of the Richard Gray Gallery. “It’s top quality, and it’s extremely rare.”

To break the record for a sculpture, the work would have to top the price of a previous Giacometti. His 6-foot-tall “Walking Man I” piece, which portrays a lanky man in stride, fetched $104.3 million at a Sotheby’s sale in London in 2010.

Read MoreExtravagant purchases of filthy rich celebrities

“Chariot,” however, may be even more coveted. Many art historians consider it to be Giacometti’s masterpiece, and one of the seminal works of modern art. Giacometti made only six “Chariots,” and only two remain in private hands. The one Sotheby’s is selling had been with the same collector for more than 40 years, making it even more valuable.

A lot is riding on those two spindly wheels. As the first of the major fall auctions, Tuesday’s sale is expected to set the tone for the auctions of more than $1.5 billion worth of art over the next two weeks. If the sale of “Chariot” hits any kind of bump, the remaining sales may not be as strong.

Rest HERE!!

~Steve~

What the polls say: Will Republicans gain a majority in Senate?

So much hinges on the election tomorrow, November 4.

  • If the Democrats keep their majority in the Senate, and the Republicans keep their majority in the House, we’ll have two more years of President Ebola doing what he wants, ignoring Congress by issuing executive orders (or not even that), and two more years in which a Democrat-controlled Senate would approve Obama’s Supreme Court nomination(s).
  • If the Democrats keep the Senate and win a majority in the House, then all hell breaks lose. We’ll go back to the first four years of the POS’s presidency, in which the Republicans can’t even mount a feeble effort against his agenda. Remember Obamacare? This time around, we’ll get gun control, amnesty for illegals, death panels, and whatever else in the evil POS’s Pandora box.
  • Only if the GOP keeps a majority in the House and wins a majority in the Senate is there any hope (no guarantees) for derailing the POS and his road to Hell.

So, what are the polls saying?

To begin, no poll expects the Republicans to lose the House. On the contrary, the expectation is that Repubs will gain even more seats in the House.

On the probability that Republicans would gain a majority in the Senate:

Click here for Senate races in Kentucky, Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Iowa.

Here’s a quote, from Washington Post:

Prominent Democratic strategists are growing increasingly nervous that the national political environment is not only bad for their side but is moving in the wrong direction in the final days before the election, a trend that could not only cost them control of the Senate but also visit double-digit House losses on the party. “The environment has settled and it’s bad,” said one senior Democratic party operative closely monitoring the party’s prospects this fall. The source added that Democratic candidates’ numbers among independents and seniors — two critically important voting blocs — have begun to erode; “they are just not as friendly to us as they once were,” the source explained. In conversations Wednesday with more than a dozen Democratic strategists deeply involved in this campaign — a few who were willing to speak on the record, a majority who were not — there was a widespread pessimism about the party’s chances Nov. 4.

Everything depends on turnout.

Democrats have soured on their toxic infatuation with the POS. Their lack of enthusiasm will depress their turnout, which is why desperate Demonrats are resorting to the worst kind of fear-mongering and race-baiting.

In Alabama, fliers distributed in largely black communities warn voters to cast ballots or else they’ll lose their food stamps, Section 8 housing, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, and even “land may be given to extremist groups to honor klansmen.” Here’s a copy of the flier, obtained by The Washington Times:

Alabama 2014 Dem flyer

Using the Ferguson shooting of Mike Brown, Democratic campaign materials aimed at getting out the black vote are featuring references to lynchings, Jim Crow-era signs, racial unrest, and the Ku Klux Klan. Here are two images (source):

2014 race baiting1

If you think the race-baiting and fear-mongering are too absurd to be believable, think again.

Just this morning, I was in a Twitter war with a FOTM reader @JusPauperum1 who insisted, but could produce no source citation or evidence, that the GOP’s “economic policies explicitly deny care for the poor, the sick, and the unemployed,” and the GOP wants to “eliminate SNAP [food stamps], unions, unemployment benefits, and healthcare”.

@JusPauperum1 even claimed that the GOP bailed out Wall Street banks, when it was Barack Obama who did the bailout. @JusPauperum1′s ignorance and brain-washedness is nothing less than stunning.

So, fellow patriots, do you really want another two years of Ebola-gate, open borders-gate, IRS-gate, VA hospital-gate, Benghazi-gate, Fast ‘n Furious-gate, NSA surveillance-gate, ISIS-gate, and a disastrous and adrift foreign policy?

VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And if you see voter fraud at your polling place, here’s a free phone app for your mobile phone to report voter fraud. Click here!

See also:

~Eowyn