Tag Archives: Hope and Change

US economic growth slows sharply

Just 280 days until this “hope and change” nightmare is over.
O laughs

Funny, I didn’t hear much about this in the US national news. I had to go to the BBC to find out about this.

Our economy grew at an annualized rate of just 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with the same quarter a year ago, official figures show. This is a sharp slowdown from the 2% growth recorded in the previous quarter.

The US Commerce department said one reason for the slower growth was a slowdown in consumer spending. Doesn’t take a genius to figure that out! Export growth was also slower as the strong dollar made US goods more expensive outside the country.
Energy sector investment continued to plummet, with spending on mining exploration, wells and shafts down 38.7%, a slightly less dramatic fall than the 47% drop seen in the third quarter. Overall, investment in the sector was down 35% in 2015, the largest drop since 1986.
Unseasonably mild weather held back some consumer spending, with another brake on growth from manufacturers who needed to run down surplus stock rather than make new goods.
Overall, the US economy grew by 2.4% in 2015, and is expected to pick up steam to give a similar growth figure this year. I’ll believe that when I see it.
On Wednesday, the US central bank the Federal Reserve said that growth had “slowed late last year” but that employment had picked up. At the end of last year the Fed was sufficiently confident in the strength of the US economy to raise rates for the first time since 2006.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said the drop in growth of consumer spending would sustain fears that the US economy was “reaping few benefits from the oil price rout while paying the cost as oil sector revenues plunge”. He said the figures could put off the timing of the next rise in US rates: “The slowdown adds more pressure to the Fed to reconsider the timing of future rate hikes, and suggests that policymakers may pare back their current expectations of a further four quarter-point hikes in 2016.”

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2012 Campaign Poster for the GOP

If the GOP has any sense, that is.

But then, we all know the Republicans have a peculiar facility to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory….
H/t my friend Bill O.

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Middle-Aged Unemployed May Never Find Work Again

Oh, joyous news. [sarcasm alert!]

On July 4, Charles Krauthammer said this on FOX News:

“The problem is at the consumer level, confidence is low and that is because, as you showed, showed we had underemployment with one out of every six Americans. The worst element of that is that among the unemployed, against the American history, more than approaching half, have [been] unemployed for over six months. That is historically unprecedented in the United States. That is a phenomenon that is seen often in Europe, rarely seen here. In 2007 the average time to get a new job was five weeks. It’s now near six months. And that implies a whole segment of the population, the more elderly or the middle-aged who may never get employed again.”

Krauthammer is not the only one.

  • An AARP report in March 2010 found that the middle-aged were hit hardest by the recession and stay unemployed the longest.
  • A February 2011 article in the Orlando Sentinel also says that job hunt is extra tough for middle-aged unemployed.

To the 53% of Americans who voted for the fraud in 2008:

You can take that Hope & Change and stuff it where the sun don’t shine.


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Unhappy Anniversary…


Recovery Summer, Part II.  Hope and change baby!


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Drop in Economic Forecast

Last week jobless benefits claims were up. Today Rasmussen Reports showed that 4 out of 10 Americans strongly disapprove of the way Barack Obama is performing as President.  Now more news:

Forecasts for Growth Drop, Some Sharply

A drumbeat of disappointing data about consumer behavior, factory sales and weak hiring in recent weeks has prompted economists to ratchet down their 2011 economic forecasts to as little as half what they expected at the beginning of the year.

Two months ago, Goldman Sachs projected that the economy would grow at a 4 percent annual rate in the quarter ending in June. The company now expects the government to report no more than 2 percent growth when data for the second quarter is released in a few weeks. Macroeconomic Advisers, a research firm, projected 3.5 percent growth back in April and is now down to just 2.1 percent for this quarter.

Two years into the official recovery, the economy is still behaving like a plane taxiing indefinitely on the runway. Few economists are predicting an out-and-out return to recession, but the risk has increased, with the health of the American economy depending in part on what is really “transitory.”

Economists say the unexpected shocks from Japan and the Middle East in the first half of the year go only partway toward explaining the deceleration. Many worries remain: housing prices have continued to fall, hiring is weak, wages are flat, growth in emerging economies like China and India is slowing and the debt crisis in Europe could have ripple effects.

What’s more, government stimulants like the payroll tax cut and the extension of unemployment benefits are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. With the underlying economy undeniably tepid, economists are concerned that further shocks to the system could knock the country off its slow upward trajectory.

The likelihood of a negative surprise is bigger than the likelihood of a positive surprise,” said Jerry A. Webman, chief economist at OppenheimerFunds.

Glad to know that “hope and change” is working.


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How’s that “Hope and Change” Working?

Hope and Change Baby!

Jobless Benefit Claims Up 9,000 Last Week

Well, what do you know: More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, adding to evidence that the job market is weakening. The Labor Department says applications rose by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000. It was the second increase in three weeks and the biggest jump in a month. Applications have been above 400,000 for 11 straight weeks.

Employers added only 54,000 net new jobs in May, much slower than the average gain of 220,000 per month in the previous three months. The unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent from 9 percent in April.

The economy needs to generate at least 125,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth. And at least twice that many jobs are needed to bring down the unemployment rate.

Fed officials said in a statement that they think the main causes of the economy’s slowdown, such as high gas prices and supply disruptions from Japan’s disasters, are temporary. Once those problems subside, Fed officials said the economy should rebound.

But, but, I thought the “stimulus” package would keep unemployment capped at 8%? Welcome to “Recovery Summer”, Part II.


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More Hope and Change

1.9 Million Fewer Americans Have Jobs Today Than When Obama Signed Stimulus

How’s that “hopeandchange” working for you?  Did that $787 BILLION economic stimulus package do anything for you? Apparently it hasn’t done much for anyone.

CNSNews.com reports that 28 months after Congress passed President Obama’s signature economic stimulus law, and nearly one year after he declared the summer of 2010 to be “Recovery Summer,” 1.9 million fewer people are employed.

In February 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 141.7 million people were employed. By the end of May 2011 – the last month for which data are available – that number had fallen to 139.8 million, a difference of 1.9 million.

While the number of people with jobs has increased slightly from its low point during the recession – 137.9 million in December 2009 – those 1.9 million jobs have been lost despite $800 billion in stimulus spending.

This does not mean that the economy is not creating jobs, but rather that it is not creating jobs fast enough to keep up with a combination of layoffs and people entering the job market for the first time. This begs to question Obama’s oft-repeated claim that the economy is recovering and creating jobs.

Think this is funny? Yesterday Obama spoke in North Carolina at a “jobs council” meeting.  Obama joked that “shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected”.  Guess “hopeandchange” was meant to be a joke after all.


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Brother, Can You Spare a McJob?

This is Obama’s Hope and Change.

On April 19, McDonald’s held a first-ever “National Hiring Day“. More than 75,000 job-seekers showed up to apply for 2,000 area positions — a 37.5 to 1 ratio. For every minimum-wage paying McJob, there were more than 37 applicants!

Ivanna Hampton reports for NBC Chicago, April 29, 2011:

Applicants packed franchises in Illinois, Southern Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana. McDonald’s filled all 2,000 jobs, including more than 1,000 posts in the Chicago area alone, a McDonald’s spokesperson said.

McDonald’s boasts about 1.7 million employees worldwide. The nationwide hiring spree is expected to increase its U.S. workforce by seven percent to 700,000.

How are y’all liking the Hope and Change?
Read the rest of the article here.

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